Veterans pass barriers at closed WWII Memorial - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Veterans pass barriers at closed WWII Memorial

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

Dozens of veterans barricaded outside the closed World War II Memorial because of the government shutdown were escorted past the barriers Tuesday by members of Congress so they could see the monument.
    
More than 125 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa arrived for a previously scheduled visit to the memorial Tuesday morning to find it barricaded by the National Park Service. Several members of Congress escorted them inside after cutting police tape and moving barriers that blocked the memorial.
    
John Kleinschmidt, 87, of Ames, Iowa, said the barriers were opened just enough for his group to walk through freely by the time he arrived. Kleinschmidt trained as a flight engineer during World War II but was never deployed abroad.
    
"It's unfortunate that this is what happens when they know that there are busloads of veterans coming down here, and they don't have the good sense to say keep the damn thing open," he said. "These are the guys that created it."
    
The Honor Flight Network brings groups of World War II veterans from across the country for free to visit the memorial built in their honor on an almost daily basis.
    
Wayne Lennep, a volunteer with the Mississippi Coast Guard Honor Flight group, said the trip had been planned for months for a group of 91 veterans as well as family members and escorts. Their chartered plane left Gulfport, Miss., on Tuesday morning.
    
The veterans were met at the memorial by Sen. Roger Wicker and Reps. Steven Palazzo, Alan Nunnelee and Gregg Harper, all Mississippi Republicans. Other lawmakers joined as well. Lennep said Wicker and Palazzo have met the veterans on previous trips.
    
Palazzo told the Mississippi Press of Pascagoula that he moved the barricades.
    
"We cannot deprive our veterans of coming here," Palazzo said of moving the barricades. "This is their day.
    
Rep. Michele Bachmann was out walking in her shorts and long-sleeved t-shirt when she got a panicked email from another member of Congress, she said. She came to the memorial and began taking pictures. Another lawmaker cut the tape, and the lawmakers escorted the veterans in, Bachmann said. Several lawmakers plan to continue coming to the memorial to ensure veterans can visit, she said.
    
"I couldn't believe my eyes," Bachmann said. "It was big buses and a narrow strip of sidewalk, and there were all these veterans standing here behind police tape and they're prevented from going in to see the memorial."
    
Lennep said blocking off the memorial seemed excessive.
    
"I don't really understand why they would have barricaded veterans out of their own memorial anyway," he said. "If there are people there guarding it to keep people out, they could watch people as they visit."
    
National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said park rangers enjoy greeting the veterans. The memorial was closed, she said, because of an order to close all park service grounds to protect the sites and keep visitors safe while more than 300 workers are furloughed.
    
"This is not something the park service wanted to do. We'd like to get back to work," Johnson said.
    
Charles Ricketts, a veteran from Ames, Iowa, blamed Congress, not the National Park Service, for nearly ruining his group's trip.
    
"I'm not impressed with Congress' ability or the president," he said. "They're not showing us much leadership and judgment. It's all political."
 

  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

  • Official: Israel Cabinet to discuss cease-fire

    Official: Israel Cabinet to discuss cease-fire

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:01:54 GMT
    An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.
    An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.
  • US weighs refugee status for youth from Honduras

    US weighs refugee status for youth from Honduras

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:58 AM EDT2014-07-25 07:58:08 GMT
    The Obama administration is considering giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border.
    The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    Friday, July 25 2014 2:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 06:56:56 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.
    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, the third major international aviation disaster in a week.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.