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Uncertainty over the ongoing government shutdown is forcing one prominent ceremony to relocate and for the first time in 20 years, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal will not be awarded at its traditional Hyde Park home. Alexandra Weishaupt has the latest on the rapid relocation.
HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- Open “Sunrise to Sunset” is no longer the case at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, which is now gated up, bolted shut and closed indefinitely due to the partial government shutdown.
“It speaks so poorly of our government and our country that we’ve come to this place where we’re allowing a small group of people to dictate what happens,” said Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center Executive Director Kathleen Durham. “The people who work in these parks, they're great and it pains me that they won't be here to share it.”
Organizers were forced to relocate the 300 person Val-Kill Medal Ceremony to Astor Courts in Rhinebeck in just a week’s time.
“We, of course, would love to have this on the site because this is Eleanor’s home after Franklin died. We are grateful that we were able to move it to Astor Courts,” said Durham.
While the relocation has been stressful on all involved, Durham says it won’t break the spirit of the ceremony or the meaning behind it, as they plan to honor six folks who exemplify Roosevelt’s passion for education, advocacy, social justice and human rights.
“The location here just enhances her presence because this is where she walked and lived, but certainly I think we take with us Eleanor Roosevelt,” said Durham.
Durham says in spite of this shutdown situation, the show must go on.
“More importantly for us is that we needed to do this, we needed to have that message out there that we're not going to let a government shutdown shut us down,” said Durham.
The ceremony will be held as scheduled at noon on Sunday. Anyone looking to attend can call organizers at (845) 242-6832.