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A bright spot in D.C. shutdown: Illinois delegation welcomes WWII veterans at memorial
While this week has already brought news of veterans getting turned away at memorials in Washington D.C., there was a bright spot involving some members of the Illinois delegation.
A group of World War II vets — 90 of them — who traveled to Washington from Illinois were let into the WWII memorial on Wednesday.
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-Ill) was among the Illinois congressmen to welcome them. Also there — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) as well as U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)
According to Quigley’s office, the vets were allowed in to the memorial after the National Park Service revised its policies under the current government shutdown.
“Our veterans bravely put themselves in harm’s way for our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude that can never full by repaid,” said Rep. Quigley. “These veterans have every right to see their memorial and be properly honored, so I’m grateful to have been a part of this incredible experience today.”
Kirk, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve, was also instrumental in leading the charge in getting the group over to the memorial.
“These soldiers gave everything in fighting for our freedom and the thought that they would not be allowed into their memorial because of the partisan divide in Washington is beyond the pale,” Kirk said. “It is time for all parties, the President of the United States, House Republicans and Senate Democrats to come together and find a compromise so we can re-open our government and ensure our veterans never again have to cross a barrier to their memorials in our nation’s capital.”