WASHINGTON — A crowd converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, pushing through barriers Sunday morning to protest the memorial's closing under the government shutdown.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were among those who gathered Sunday morning, along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to WTOP Radio. Cruz said President Barack Obama is using veterans as pawns in the shutdown.
"Tear down these walls," the crowd chanted. Protesters also sang "God bless America" and other patriotic songs as they entered the memorial plaza.
The memorial has become a political symbol in the bitter fight between Democrats and Republicans over who is at fault since the shutdown began. Earlier rallies have focused on allowing access for World War II veterans visiting from across the country with the Honor Flight Network.