Apparently the man is named Chris Cox, and CBS reports:
“Now, armed with a chainsaw and lawnmower, Chris Cox is on a one-man mission to clean up the National Mall as the Park Service employees normally tasked with keeping the area tidy sit idle during the shutdown of the federal government.
Cox, who resides in South Carolina, says he isn’t motivated by political reasons but feels obligated to help as veterans prepare to descend on the nation’s capital for this weekend’s Million Vet March.
Regardless of how many former service members actually attend the rally, Cox says making them presentable is just the right thing to do.”
“These are our memorials. Do they think that we’re just going to let them go to hell? No,” Cox exclusively told All-News 99.1 reporter John Domen. “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.”
I agree with BuzzFeed: this man is awesome. Oh, and yes, he is carrying the South Carolina flag as he gets the job done.
Update: the government told him to stop:
“Park Police do not condone Cox’s mission for liability reasons, but let him work undisturbed for a time. He believes he was given an unofficial green light because his heart was in the right place.
But the green light was rescinded and authorities asked Cox to disband the militia. He agreed and has stopped the cleanup for the time being with the work far from complete.”