Jeff Miller, the co-founder of the Honor Flight Network, applauded the National Park Service on Wednesday for accomodating veterans hoping to visit the World War II Memorial, which had been closed as a result of the government shutdown.
“The Park Service they have been so compassionate, they have done everything they could,” Miller said, as quoted by the Washington Post. He added that the service “bent over backwards” to ensure that veterans were not dealt any additional inconveniences.
On Tuesday, veterans affiliated with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight removed barriers at the Washington, D.C. memorial with the assistance of serveral congressmen. More veterans groups descended upon the memorial on Wednesday before the National Park Service announced that the veterans would be granted access to the open-air site.
Tea party lawmakers like Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined the veterans at the memorial on Wednesday, something that Miller suggested was unnecessary.
“We don’t need representatives, senators anybody here,” Miller told the Post. "We will be allowed to move the gate if there’s no one here and our veterans [can] go in.”
Republicans have tried to score political points off the ordeal. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that the government had deployed "goons" to deny veterans access, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued a statement Wednesday blaming the Obama administration for the closure.