UPDATE: The Park Service has announced that all Honor Flights are being granted access to the WWII memorial to “conduct 1st Amendment activities.”
Yesterday, a group of World War II veterans entered their memorial in Washington, D.C., knocking over the barricades apparently erected on the orders of the Office of Management and Budget, an executive branch agency that set spending priorities during the shutdown.
The veterans had been flown into the nation’s capital from Mississippi by Honor Flight, an organization founded with the mission of bringing veterans to their memorials. Upon arriving yesterday morning, roughly 80 vets knocked over the barricades and entered after Representative Steve King (R., Iowa) distracted a Park Police representative. A bagpiper led the vets into the memorial past an applauding crowd.
More Honor Flight vets are arriving this morning, and NRO’s Betsy Woodruff is on the scene — you can follow her updates on Twitter.
— Leo Shane III (@LeoShane) October 1, 2013
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) October 2, 2013
Pander cam is re-opened. pic.twitter.com/kxDMI27RVE
— David Waldman, LLC (@KagroX) October 2, 2013
Vet now playing taps. The entire memorial stood. pic.twitter.com/k4anX3AxE6
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 2, 2013
Both the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, which are open air like the WWII memorial, were open yesterday. Notably, the closure of the WWII memorial came despite a request to the White House from Representative Steven Palazzo (R., Miss.) to keep it open.