Canceled football games and a veterans’ insurrection were among the unexpected events that marked the first day of the federal government shutdown.

The Department of Defense released a statement early Tuesday that shocked college sports fans. The department said that all athletic competitions at the Army, Navy and Air Force academies would be postponed for as long as the government remained closed.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Air Force and Navy are scheduled to square off in a sold-out, nationally televised football game on Saturday, while the Army has a planned match-up against Boston College. If the government impasse isn’t resolved by Thursday, both games will be suspended.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Ex-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws MORE (R-Ariz.), a graduate of the Naval Academy, told reporters that the cancelation of the Air Force-Navy game would be the “defining moment” of the shutdown.

“The apocalypse is upon us,” McCain lamented. 

Meanwhile, World War II veterans who flew into Washington on honor flights early Tuesday were surprised to find that the World War II Memorial they planned to visit already had a barricade around it to keep the public out.

The vets walked past the barricades, leaving Park Police in an awkward position.

“We’re seeking guidance on how to respond,” the Park Police said, according to Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane III. 

Members of the Park Police reportedly allowed the veterans to continue walking on the memorial site, after early reports suggested the veterans had “stormed” through the barriers. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle rushed to the scene. Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinWe need a voting rights workaround Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers MORE (D-Iowa) and Republican Reps. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertPence to give keynote address at National Conservative Student Conference Gaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 136 Republicans get Fs in accountability rankings from anti-Trump GOP group MORE (Texas), Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Bill Huizenga (Mich.) and Steven Palazzo (Miss.) were among those who showed up to declare their support for the veterans.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask On The Money: How demand is outstripping supply and hampering recovery | Montana pulls back jobless benefits | Yellen says higher rates may be necessary MORE (D-Ohio) said over Twitter that vets “shouldn’t face closed DC memorials,” and vowed to donate his pay during the shutdown to the Honor Flight Network, which helped arrange travel for the veterans to D.C. on Tuesday.

Others thundered about the injustice from Capitol Hill, through statements or in campaign ads.

“Close down the World War II Memorial. Close down the Mall, which is just an open piece of grass — there’s no legitimate reason for doing so,” Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations MORE (R-N.J.) said. “These are the same guys who faced down the Nazis, the same guys who faced down the Japanese in World War II, and they were not to be stopped by a piece of yellow tape.”

And the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is already up with an ad hitting Democrats over the barricades.

“Democrats shut down WWII Memorial,” an ad on the NRCC site reads. “Greatest generation storms through anyways.”

Still, at least a couple of unexpected developments were positive.

The financial markets were up across the board after rocky trading on Monday. All of the major indexes ended in the black, as Wall Street had either already priced the cost of the shutdown into stocks or was signaling that it believed the shutdown would be short-lived.

And the Ku Klux Klan’s planned rally at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania will have to wait. The Confederate White Knights of the KKK had permits for a Saturday gathering, but park officials rescinded the permits on Tuesday because of the shutdown. 

This story was updated at 8:31 p.m.