Photos: Veterans pass barriers at closed WWII memorial

Photos: Veterans pass barriers at closed WWII memorial

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

A US military war veteran visits the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013. The US Park Service opened the area to the veterans who are brought to Washington to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top through the efforts of Honor Flight, a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. The US government shut down Tuesday for the first time in 17 years after a gridlocked Congress failed to reach a federal budget deal amid bitter brinkmanship. Some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed in a move reminiscent of two previous shutdowns -- for six days in November 1995 and 21 days from December that year into early 1996. AFP Photo/Karen BLEIER

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by BRETT ZONGKER

Associated Press

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM

WASHINGTON — A group of veterans walked past barriers at the closed World War II memorial with help from members of Congress.

Hundreds of veterans arrived for a previously scheduled visit to the memorial Tuesday morning to find it barricaded by the National Park Service. Members of Congress, including Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, went to the site after receiving panicked emails and cut police tape to let in the veterans from Iowa and Mississippi.

Bachman says it was "pure joy" when the veterans were allowed in because they had traveled so far. She says members of Congress plan to continue coming down to the memorial to ensure veterans can visit.

Park spokeswoman Carol Johnson says the service didn't want to keep veterans out, but the agency was directed to close all memorials.

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