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CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials despite government shutdown

There were few problems for more than 60 local veterans who made a special trip to Washington D.C. to see several memorials during the government shutdown.
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flight Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flight Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
CNY veterans visit D.C. memorials (Katherine Hatch, Honor Flights Syracuse)
Washington D.C. (WSYR-TV) - There were few problems were reported by local World War II veterans who made a special trip to Washington D.C. to see several memorials during the government shutdown.

The trip, organized by Honor Flights, was scheduled before the National Park Service closed sites across the country when Congress failed to finalize a budget.

Slideshow: CNY veterans visit DC memorials despite government shutdown

Honor Flight Syracuse spent nearly $50,000 on Saturday's journey, according to the chapter's president, Randy Flath.

Crowds lined the fence of Hancock International Airport Saturday as they welcomed in the Honor Flight, a special trip for local veterans to spend a day in Washington, D.C.

Among those waiting were Shirley and Charlotte Ashworth, mother and daughter-in-law, who were waiting for their veteran's arrival home.

Shirley said, "Lyman has been wanting to go so badly and he never had a chance and this flight came up and man he was so excited."

Lyman served in World War II and is almost 90 years old.

Shirley and Lyman's son David also served in the Armed Forces in Germany, around the time of the Vietnam War. David's wife Charlotte said, "He wanted to do it for his dad, because he's proud of the experiences his father had in World War II."

The trip was almost affected by the government shutdown, until the veterans took it into their own hands. The Iwo Jima Memorial was barricaded closed. Veteran Bill Pavlus said, "A few people got off the buss and removed it out of the way so we could go on through.

Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the agency relies on funding from Congress to properly staff parks and ensure the safety of visitors. However, she assured veterans that Honor Flights would be allowed into the World War II memorial for "First Amendment activities".


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