Despite the federal government shutdown, a ceremony to honor veterans at the U.S. National World War II Memorial took place as scheduled this morning, after a Mississippi congressman opened a barricade to allow participants in.
As noted on Talking Points Memo, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) and other congressmen were witnessed opening the memorial for a scheduled ceremony for the Mississippi Coast Chapter of Honor Flight. Both Rep. Palazzo and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)—House Republicans who have blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama—attended the ceremony.
The incident at the memorial, designed by Friedrich St. Florian, marks an early conflict after the government failed to pass a budget or continued resolution last night. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama signaled that they would not agree to any bill from the House demanding concessions in exchange for a budget agreement.
Honor Flight ceremonies are scheduled for every day this week, with veterans groups flying into Washington, D.C., from Iowa, New Mexico, Illinois, Missouri, and other states. More Honor Flight ceremonies are scheduled throughout the month of October.
Across the National Mall, museums and National Park sites were shuttered—the WWII Memorial among them—as a result of an order from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget declaring the federal government closed indefinitely.