While D.C. lawmakers persist in not playing by the rules, the partial government shutdown means that, among other things, people may be going without food, patients are being turned away for clinical trials, and the investigation of at least one environmental disaster is on hold.

But thanks to the efforts of one man, at least the lawns of the National Mall memorials will look good.

Chris Cox, a native of Mount Pleasant, S.C., has taken a standard gasoline-powered mower to the Mall where he has been seen mowing, blowing, weeding and whatever else it takes to keep the memorials presentable. The Mall, along with all 401 national parks and countless other public sites, has been closed since the shutdown took effect.

"These are our memorials. Do they think that we're just going to let them go to hell?'' Cox told All-News 99.1 radio.

Calling his one-man gardening service the “Memorial Militia,” Cox said that he's not motivated by politics but wants to ensure that the memorials look tip-top by the time veterans arrive for a planned Million Vet march on Washington this weekend.

“If they shut down our memorials, we’re still going to take the trash out, we’re going to clean the windows, we’re going to cut the grass, we’re going to pull the weeds, we’re going to do the tree work, “ Cox said.

Although there was no official sanction for his work, he was initially left alone by officials — an allowance he believed due to his heart being in the right place. 

But the green light was rescinded when officials told Cox to pack up his equipment and hit the road. If the government won’t do it, nobody else can either, apparently ... leaving the nation’s memorials in disarray as those who’ve served prepare to descend upon the Mall.

“There’s a lot of preparation to get ready for them and there’s nobody here representing the government,” he said.

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One-man militia mows government lawns
Chris Cox became an instant folk hero as he took his lawnmower to the National Mall and got down to business.