PHOTOS: World War II Veterans Force Open WWII Memorial During Shutdown

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"PHOTOS: World War II Veterans Force Open WWII Memorial During Shutdown"

World War II veterans at their memorial during the shutdown

World War II veterans at their memorial during the shutdown

CREDIT: Tom Sherwood

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. That wasn’t about to stop a group of World War II veterans who had traveled from Mississippi to see the memorial erected in their honor. Undaunted by the barriers set up by Park Police, the veterans and those accompanying them stormed the memorial, drawing the attention of journalists and politicians alike.

According to Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane, who took many of the pictures at the scene, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) distracted U.S. Park Police while the barriers were being moved to allow the veterans access. Veterans from Iowa soon followed those from Mississippi, with no signs that the Park Police meant to evict any of them anytime soon. While a Parks official told Jacob Fischy of Buzzfeed that the park remains legally closed, they were “unsure if security tapes will be reviewed or anyone will be prosecuted for trespassing.” Meanwhile, despite their members causing the shutdown, the National Republican Congressional Committee is now using the veterans’ reclamation of their memorial to add email addresses to their mailing list.

More photos:

Veterans at the memorial

Veterans at the memorial

CREDIT: Leo Shane

Veterans at the WWII memorial

Veterans at the WWII memorial

CREDIT: Leo Shane

The Mississippi tower at the World War II memorial

The Mississippi tower at the World War II memorial

CREDIT: Leo Shane

Iowa veterans make their way to the WWII memorial

Iowa veterans make their way to the WWII memorial

CREDIT: Leo Shane

(HT: Leo Shane)

Update

This post has been updated from its original form to include more information about the reaction to the veterans’ actions.

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