WASHINGTON — Dozens of veterans barricaded outside the closed World War II Memorial because of the government shutdown were escorted past the barriers today by members of Congress so they could see the monument.
More than 125 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa arrived for a previously scheduled visit to the memorial this morning to find it barricaded by the National Park Service. Several members of Congress escorted them inside after cutting police tape and moving barriers that blocked the memorial.
John Kleinschmidt, 87, of Ames, Iowa, said the barriers were opened enough for his group to walk through freely by the time he arrived. Kleinschmidt trained as a flight engineer during World War II but was never deployed abroad.
“It’s unfortunate that this is what happens when they know that there are busloads of veterans coming down here, and they don’t have the good sense to say keep the damn thing open,” he said. “These are the guys that created it.”
The Honor Flight Network brings groups of World War II veterans from across the country for free to visit the memorial built in their honor on an almost daily basis.
By The Associated Press