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AP Photo: Carolyn Kaster

Korean War veteran Frederick Jenkins, from Iowa, third from left, poses for a photograph at National World War II Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

  By Brett Zongker of Associated Press

 

Hundreds of veterans arrived for a visit to a closed World War II memorial and were escorted past the barriers erected after the government shutdown took effect.

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

 

Vets cross barricades despite shutdown

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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.

Bachmann 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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