The Mississippi Honor Flight flew 92 World War Two veterans to Washington D.C. for a long planned visit to the World War Two Memorial. It was closed. The moose at the gate should’ve told them.
These are the guys that stormed the beaches of Normandy, Saipan and Iwo Jima just to name a few. They’ve faced point blank machine gun fire and a little “Police Do Not Cross” tape wasn’t going to stop them.
As Park Police informed them that the Memorial was closed as part of the government shut down, the vets ignored them and strolled (and rolled) on in.
“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.
More than $100,000 was raised to fund the trip that took months of planning.
Mississippi Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker were on hand and helped move barriers. Other members of Congress including Barbara Bachmann were there to meet and greet the vets.
“This just means so much to me,” said Alex “Lou” Pitalo, an Army vet who also served in the Pacific during WWII. “I waited 70 years to get a welcome like this. And to get to see this and to have all those people clapping … I’m just so happy. This was amazing.”
After visiting, the vets left peacefully. Officials are formulating plans to deal with future incidents like this should the government shut down continue.