By Hadas Kuznits, Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The end of the government shutdown means Philadelphia’s historical sites are now open for business.
At the Liberty Bell, it only took a couple of minutes for a line to form around the building once the site reopened.
“I think it’s a relief for a lot of people that have been waiting to see some of these historic places and I’m excited! I’m thrilled that it’s opened back up,” a tourist said.
“I was waiting for this for a long time, I was so excited,” another tourist said. “And I really love history so it’s amazing to have this experience.”
Children on their school field trip say they’re lucky that it opened when it did.
“And now that it’s open we get to go see more and to actually be inside instead of watching outside,” a child said.
“They planned it from like June of last year and they’ve been saving up money and booking the buses and everything for a long time,” a chaperone said. “We were hoping we were able to see it, we weren’t sure even with the government opening back up we weren’t certain we’d be able to get in or not.”
A school teacher says he had to rearrange his itinerary to take students around Philadelphia’s historical sites in Old City.
“We were trying to find things to do, it was kind of hard with everything being shut down in the one general area here,” he said.
Of course on the top of almost every tourist’s list was the Liberty Bell.
“We were hoping that we’d get to see it. We’re just glad that it’s open now and we get the chance,” a tourist said.
National Park Service worker, Patricia Jones, is grateful that she and her staff will have their lost pay restored.
“There are a significant number of people on my staff who are young people, just out of college, they are probably living paycheck-to-paycheck, and to not have pay for three weeks is tough.”
President of Independence Visitor’s Center, James Cuorato, says he plans to “explore any options we may have to see if we can be exempt from shutdowns in the future, with just a three month extension, this could happen again.”