The elderly veterans piled off the chartered buses in front of the World War II Memorial, some in wheelchairs, some using canes, all determined to pay homage to each other and their fallen comrades from more than half a century ago.
Metal barricades and signs announcing a closure due to the shutdown of the federal government awaited them.
The graying and stooped men, wearing blue baseball caps, red T-shirts and garlands of red, white and blue flowers, surged forward, accompanied by members of Congress — the same lawmakers who, hours earlier, had triggered a government shutdown by failing to pass a budget resolution.
A shout went up. The barricades had been moved — it was unclear by whom.
[Read the rest of the article at The Washington Post.]