Despite shutdown, WWII veterans cross barrier to visit memorial

Washington A group of World War II veterans visiting Washington, D.C., on Tuesday arrived at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, only to find that the government shutdown had forced the closure of the Mall.

A World War II veteran visits the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013.

With the help of some members of Congress, however, they didn't let a little fencing stand in the way of their visit.

"We didn't come this far not to get in," one veteran told Stars and Stripes.

According to several reports, the 100 veterans were in D.C. as part of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight to visit the various war memorials and when they arrived at the entrance of the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, they were greeted by a barricade.

A number of Republican members of Congress were there including Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; and Steve King, R-Iowa, and some of them helped move the barricades to allow the veterans to see the memorial.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., tweeted, "Amazing grace sounds even more beautiful on bagpipes when I am helping WWII vets tour the monument they risked their lives for."