• Visitors frustrated by some shuttered Boston museums, monuments

    By: Jim Morelli


    BOSTON - They're caught in the tangled web of the government shutdown: visitors to Boston looking for history, only to find it's on hiatus.

    Minnesotans Gerald Laming and his daughter, a Navy buff, visited the Charlestown Navy Yard, only to find the visitor's center closed. 

    "Stuff like this is a bummer, specifically for kids and the time we have to learn about our history and what not. I understand why people do it. I don't agree with it," Laming said. 

    Fortunately for the Lamings, the shutdown hit the Navy Yard with one building closed but the star attraction, the USS Constitution, is open. 

    "The Constitution, she's open. We're open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 to 4. Come down every single day. Meet a sailor. We've got tours going every half hour," said Petty Ofc. Joseph Woynar of the USS Constitution. 

    The non-governmental Constitution Museum is also open.

    But don't bother hiking up to the Bunker Hill Monument. That is closed, too.

    "Very disappointed," said Andy McFarland, who is visiting Boston from Scotland.

    "It's been very disappointing to spend the money that we've spent to come here for Christmas and New Year and find this. It just seems ridiculous," said Kathleen McFarland.

    The McFarlands also tried visiting the Kennedy Library, but that's closed. 

    "We've invested a lot of money in this (visit). Hoped to see a lot of things. There's lots of things we'll go home and look at on the Internet, which ain't quite the same," Andy McFarland said. 

    They may not bring home to Scotland all the memories they hoped for, but the McFarlands did get an education in the ways of Washington and the divided times in the United States.

    "I've got to say I feel really really sorry for the families who are affected by this, at this time of year. I think the country's let those people down," said Kathleen McFarland. 

    Next Up: