Central New York veterans got into the Iwo Jima Memorial on Sunday (10/06) by knocking over water-filled barriers. Their three buses were then able to get in to see the landmark.
The dedicated group of Honor Flight volunteers made sure this group of 64 aging veterans of World War II and the Korean War had their moment of respect and reflection.
Compared to battling the Germans and Japanese during World War II, Honor Flight Syracuse volunteers said working around a government shutdown in Washington D.C. was a challenge easily overcome.
They put their backs into it, tilting the warer-filled barricades and letting the water pour out. Then they moved the barricades so the buses could get into the memorial area.
The veterans took an early morning charter flight out of Syracuse's Hancock Airport. The grand World War II Memorial was the first stop by mid-morning. The goal was to bring all Syracuse area veterans to their memorial at no cost to the former service men and women.
Volunteers and donations make it happen. SRC, Inc. is the largest corporate sponsor of this Honor Flight. The veterans were matched with volunteer guardians who shuttled them from the tour bus via wheelchair through the memorials.
These veterans were traveling for the first time to the Vietnam Wall, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Monument.
When the Honor Flight plane returns to Hancock Airport Sunday evening, it will be met by a 'water arch' set up by National Guard and airport fire equipment. It will be visible, around six p.m. from the airport viewing area. There's free parking for the public.
The ongoing federal government shutdown is keeping tourists and campers away from national parks.
That is having a negative impact on seasonal businesses in places such as Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Traffic cones and road closed signs keep people out of great smoky mountains national park.
Employees in gatlinburg fear these empty parking lots will lead to empty businesses in town.
Gatlinburg leaders say they're reminding people of the city's parks for picnics and the state parks nearby where they can hike and camp.
A survey shows parks being closed cost local communities more than 70 million a day while closed.