With Congress unwilling or unable to pass a measure to fund the government, federal officials were forced to announce a shutdown on Tuesday, bringing with it a closure of national parks and memorials.
This could have proven a huge inconvenience for a group of World War II veterans who were set to visit the National Mall on Tuesday to pay their respects at the WWII Memorial, which is now technically closed to the public. But the group, led by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, wasn't about to be stopped by a few signs and barriers.
Leo Shane, a veterans affairs reporter for Stars and Stripes, was on hand to document the vets as they stormed the memorial:
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) later went to bat for the veterans, saying that he'd donate his salary to their cause and encouraging others to do the same:
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) October 1, 2013
Congressional Republicans also tried to get in on the action:
Mississippi congressman moves gate and lets 92 WW2 vets see their monument. pic.twitter.com/541GvLLlTz
— Tom Sherwood (@tomsherwood) October 1, 2013
Credit where due -- I watched Rep Steve King distract a park police officer while vets and staffers knocked down the fences here. #shutdown
Vets posing with Bachmann pic.twitter.com/5qlfR0Zfyy
— Elahe Izadi (@ElaheIzadi) October 1, 2013