One of the iconic moments of the federal government shutdown took place at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. last week. National park security staff stood by as veterans from an Honor Flight – some in wheelchairs – pushed pass barricades to the closed monument.
That incident has not sway veterans from West Central Florida to delay their Honor Flight visit scheduled Tuesday.
Instead, Barbara Howard, a board member for the West Central Florida Honor Flight, said she and others contacted members of congress.
“It is their right to see their memorials,” Howard said. “So, I felt very very sad that there was this unintended consequence, the memorials being shut dow,n but I’m really happy they’ve made arrangements now that WWII veterans can get in and see them.”
Howard received an email from Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor stating that Honor Flight veterans could visit certain memorials under their First Amendment Rights.
“We’ll be able to go into the WWII Memorial. We’ll be able go to the Korean and I think possibly the Vietnam. I don’t know that they’ll be able to go up into the Lincoln Memorial – we’re not sure that those stairs will be open,” Howard said.
Two other West Central Florida Honor Flight are scheduled October 29 from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport and November 12 from the Lakeland Linder Airport.