They came on an “honor flight” all the way from Mississippi to Washington, D.C., to visit a memorial for the war they fought in. A group of World War II veterans, many of whom were in wheelchairs and had waited years for this day, got off a bus to see the district’s WWII memorial on Tuesday.
But the government shutdown went into effect just hours earlier, closing all of the U.S. National Parks. The group was initially turned away.
That’s when members of Congress showed up and the barricades to the monument were broken down. Three Republican congressmen who greeted the veterans gave The Washington Post different accounts of how exactly the barricades parted, but it allowed the veterans to stroll inside and see the memorial dedicated to their service.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated Republicans would introduce legislation that would allow veterans on “honor flights” to continue to visit the war memorials even during a shutdown situation.
Watch the NewsNation video above for more.