WWII Veterans Ignore Shutdown and Barricades, Tour Memorial
One area of the government that was affected with the shutdown at midnight, was the closing of National Parks around the country. National park employees fall in the non-essential category of employees therefore they have been furloughed until further notice.
The World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. is one such park. However, the shutdown didn’t stop a group of World War II veterans from visiting and touring the Memorial on Tuesday according to CNN.com.
Many of the veterans in wheelchairs, broke through the barricades to the applause of onlookers as a bagpiper played on.
CNN.com reports that before the veterans broke through the barricade, a few Republican members of Congress removed a section of the gate surrounding the site, while security officers stood by as the veterans strolled past.
According to The Washington Post a U.S. Park Police officer, who declined to give his name said, “I’m not going to enforce the ‘no stopping or standing’ sign for a group of 90 World War II veterans. I’m a veteran myself.”
A spokeswoman from the National Mall and Parks Service said security officers are no longer being asked to try and hold anyone back.
According to The Post a group of veterans from Puerto Rico visiting the Korean War Memorial in the nation’s capital removed the barricades as well in order to lay a wreath.