A group of nearly 100 veterans did not let the government shutdown stop them from crossing the barricade of the closed World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday Oct. 1.
According to ABC News, 92 members of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight Veterans, an organization that provides the state's WWII veterans with free trips to the nation's capital, entered the iconic memorial just hours after the shutdown, crossing a make-shift barrier that blocked the site from visitors. The memorial is currently closed to due to the shutdown.
Details of how the veterans, some of whom in wheelchairs or holding onto walkers, were able to enter the barricaded memorial remain vague. The veterans arrived at Reagan National Airport at 10 a.m. and took a charter bus to the landmark, where they were initially going to see a bagpipe procession and wreath-laying ceremony, the news source reported. Videos show the veterans taking over the memorial without escorts, while Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said in interviews that the gates were opened for the group.
The site was re-closed after the veterans left, and will remain closed until the government shutdown is resolved, according to the news outlet.
Many members of Congress, including Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., tweeted in support of the veterans Tuesday afternoon, asking the federal government to keep the memorials open during the shutdown.