Washington, D.C. A group of veterans, including some from Mississippi, walked past barriers at the closed World War II memorial with help from members of Congress.
Hundreds of veterans arrived for a previously scheduled visit to the memorial Tuesday morning to find it barricaded by the National Park Service.
Members of Congress went to the site after receiving panicked emails and cut police tape to let in the veterans from Iowa and Mississippi.
The veterans were met at the memorial by Sen. Roger Wicker and Reps. Steven Palazzo, Alan Nunnelee and Gregg Harper, all Mississippi Republicans. Other lawmakers joined as well.
Cong. Michele Bachmann says it was "pure joy" when the veterans were allowed in because they had traveled so far. She says members of Congress plan to continue coming down to the memorial to ensure veterans can visit.
Park spokeswoman Carol Johnson says the service didn't want to keep veterans out, but the agency was directed to close all memorials.