What was meant to be a final gathering of heroes Tuesday instead became a final victory for dozens of World War II combat vets who refused to let the government’s budget battle block a visit to their memorial in the nation’s capital. With bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace,” nearly 200 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa swept past barricades and security guards at the WWII Memorial in Washington in order to keep a commitment to visit the site, which was closed today due to the partial government shutdown. The veterans, in their 80s and 90s, were accompanied by Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., a former Marine who earlier vowed not to let the National Park Police keep them from a planned visit to the open-air monument. “Well, I would have been so down-and-out if I got all the way up here and wasn’t able to get in,” Navy veteran Oscar Leroy Russell, 90, who is blind after he suffered a stroke, told FoxNews.com.
CNN has footage of the veterans entering, led by bagpipes: