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Jeff Smith, NBC 5
North Texas World War II veterans are joining the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. to go see the WWII memorial currently closed by the government shutdown.
As one of the biggest symbols of the government shutdown, the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. has become a flashpoint for both Congress and visitors to express their feelings on the ongoing crisis.
Now a group of North Texas veterans are headed directly into the shutdown center, traveling into Washington D.C. for an overnight, all-expenses-paid trip arranged by the DFW Honor Flight.
Earlier this week, more than 100 World War II veterans were turned away from the memorial by park rangers. All National Parks are closed because of the government shutdown.
But as the images of veterans being turned away at their own memorial circulated, park rangers had a change of heart and allowed veterans to see the memorial for "first amendment activities. Other visitors were forced to remain outside barricades.
The local veterans are expected to be able to visit the memorial based on the previous decision. Their flight leaves around 9 a.m. from DFW Airport. Around 42 veterans are planning to make the trip.
The situation reached a tension point when Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas District 19 confronted a park ranger Wednesday, saying they "should be ashamed" of closing the memorial due to the shutdown.
A furloughed Federal worker challenged Neugebauer, saying the ranger was only doing her job because Congress wouldn't pass a budget to allow the location to remain open.