About 90 World War II vets from Mississippi arrived in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, determined to visit the World War II Memorial—shutdown or no shutdown. When they reached the barricaded memorial, the red, white, and blue–clad gang—many of them in wheelchairs—just kept moving, knocking down gates to get inside. All national parks and monuments may be closed today, but these people fought the Nazis, damn it! They’re not going to let a few lousy gates get in the way of visiting their memorial.
The shutdown of the federal government on Tuesday closed down memorials across the country, including many within Washington, DC. All of those on the National Mall were barred from the public when the shutdown became official.
"Honor flight vets just knocked over the barriers at the WWII memorial to get inside, #shutdown or no," tweeted Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane, who was on the scene to witness the instantly iconic incident that will likely be the most memorable moment of the shutdown.
According to Shane, Republican members of Congress helped catalyze the taking of the memorial by distracting Park Police to allow the vets to move the barriers set up to prevent memorial visits during the shutdown.
According to TPM, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) "opened the barricade" and allowed a group of 91 veterans on Tuesday to storm into the closed World War II Memorial, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was reportedly also involved.
It wasn't long before Rep. Michele Bachmann (Delusional-MN) arrived to fully exploit the situation by promising the vets to keep the memorial open every day, shutdown be damned.
Perhaps these Republicans should have worked harder to keep it from being closed in the first place.
UPDATE: John Amato:
tea partiers only care about veterans when they need them to vote R. Vets of WWII in wheelchairs make up a lot of Republican voters so way to go to help your constituents, teabaggers.
The government shutdown is stupid: some Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, after the Supreme Court deemed it legal and their losing presidential candidate campaigned to overturn it, and their hopeless fight has shut down the government for the foreseeable future. As a result, all national parks and open air memorials are closed across the country. One of the more depressing casualties of the shutdown: a group of 91 veterans who traveled on an Honor Flight from Mississippi might be locked out from a scheduled memorial visit Tuesday morning.