Republican members of Congress had removed a section of the black gates that surrounded the site, allowing a line of veterans to roll past security officers, who willingly stood aside. [...]The National Park Service ultimately made it official that security officers should not try to block access to the memorial.
Some Republican members of Congress and a Democratic senator were on site, blasting the federal government for fencing off the memorial. Outraged and baffled, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, crossed through an opening in the railing earlier in the morning–before the breach–and got on the phone to try and reach the secretary of the Department of Interior.
"I don't get it. I'm furious. I'm trying to get a hold of people," he said, standing on the other side of the barricade and looking around for help. "But I can't seem to get a hold of anybody."
As heartwarming as it is that aging World War II veterans got their chance to see their memorial—and it is heartwarming—this is also kind of the ultimate in Republican shutdown crapitude. House Republicans shut down the government, then run over to act like bad-asses standing up to The Man (where The Man is low-ranking park police) objecting to one highly photogenic outcome of the shutdown they caused. It's the whining about White House tours canceled because of the sequester all over again, and once again, the media is all over it, while nutrition assistance for Women, Infants, and Children running out of funding thanks to the Republican shutdown gets relatively little attention.