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Ear to the Ground

Veterans Bust Through Barricades to Visit Shut Memorials

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Posted on Oct 1, 2013
Photo by Mr T in DC (CC-BY-ND)

Veterans in the nation’s capital aren’t letting a little government shutdown get in the way of their visit to war memorials.

The Washington Post reports that elderly vets, along with a few grandstanding members of Congress, pushed past barricades at the World War II and Korean War memorials.

“I’m not going to enforce the ‘no stopping or standing’ sign for a group of 90 World War II veterans,” said a U.S. Park Police officer, who declined to give his name. “I’m a veteran myself.”

The veterans, from Mississippi, were visiting the memorial on the Mall as part of an honor flight program. They had chartered an $80,000 airplane, and their plans were too far advanced to postpone when the government shut down, said Wayne Lennep, spokesman for the Mississippi Gulf Coast honor flights.

Elsewhere:

At the Korean War Memorial, a group of veterans from Puerto Rico also moved barricades aside in order to lay a wreath. The veterans represented members of the 65th Army regiment, which fought in Korea.

Anthony Mele, president of the regiment’s honor task force, said a Park Police officer admonished the group that the site was closed and then “literally turned his face and walked away” as the men moved the barriers in order to enter.

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