National parks, monuments and memorials remain closed during the third day of the federal government shutdown, except for those park-goers deemed participating in "First Amendment activities" at the World War II Memorial.
Stars and Stripes reported Oct. 2 that the U.S. Park Police would allow visits to the memorial that are considered "First Amendment activities," thereby allowed no matter the government’s operating status. The announcement was made following the situation Tuesday when dozens of veterans participating in Honor Flights to the nation’s capital encountered barriers keeping the public from entering the memorial area. The veterans, with the assistance of members of Congress, made their way past the barriers and were able to visit the memorial.
In press reports, National Park Service spokeswoman Karen Cucurullo said that veterans will be allowed into the memorial under the Constitution’s First Amendment, which includes the right to free speech and assembly.
A message on the National Park Service website states, "Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov." After a few seconds, the page switches over to the Department of the Interior website.