Few can argue that Yosemite is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is perhaps America's most famous, and glorious, national park, with stunning attractions like Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and much more bringing in millions of visitors a year.
Tuesday is Yosemite's 123rd anniversary as a national park. To celebrate, Google created a lovely doodle commemorating the anniversary.
Tuesday is also the first day of the federal government shutdown, and thanks to Congress' inability to fund many of the government's operations, non-essential institutions like national parks are being shut down until Congress reaches an agreement on a budget.
That means that on the very day that Google is celebrating the anniversary of the opening of one of America's most cherished parks, the federal government is closing the park's gates.
Did Google do this on purpose? A Google spokesperson said that, "The timing today is an unfortunate coincidence" and pointed to the company's post on the Yosemite doodle.
Regardless, the symbolism of the government being forced to close the doors to one of our country's most popular destinations thanks to irresponsible legislators is stark. So today, since we are unable to visit Yosemite and take in its glories, let's at least appreciate the park, and the countless others in the National Park system, as well as the work done by so many other federal agencies. It may be awhile before we're able to take advantage of them again.
Updated, Tuesday at 9:18 a.m. PT: with response from Google.