Hudson -- Some may disagree on what does or does not constitute a historic event.
But one family, the Garitys of Hudson, are calling an event they took part in Oct. 7 at Washington's Lincoln Memorial history making.
"It was a historic day -- truly," Jim Garity said of the event which could have gotten him arrested.
Jim was in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Janet, and their 10-year-old son, Sean, who was celebrating his birthday.
"Oct. 7 was Sean's 10th birthday," Jim said. "He has a major interest in history and science and asked for the trip for his birthday."
Sean was "so excited to visit the Smithsonian Museum and the monuments," his dad said.
"Then came the shutdown," Jim said. "We could not cancel reservations."
Jim was upset that his son "would be denied his dream to visit the historic monuments...especially those that have no locked doors." He does not believe public, open air spaces, should be closed, he said.
"I promised Sean that we would march up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial," Garity said. "When we stood there in the shadow of the great emancipation and I saw the barricades and police tape, I felt that my government was breaking the law by denying me my First Amendment right to peaceful assembly."
Jim admitted he was also a little scared.
"When I shouted to the police officer at the top of the stairs that I was planning to move the fence and enter, he motioned back that I would be removed forcefully," Garity said. "If that happened, my wife was prepared to take Sean."
Jim tried to get the crowd to cross the barricade with him.
"Though most agreed with me... none were willing to join my protest, and I was then more afraid of failing Sean and my own convictions," he said.
Jim reached the point where he could not back down, knowing how sad his son was, he said.
"It was sad because I really wanted to see it," Sean said.
At that moment, Jim was ready to cross the police tape and fence by himself.
"Something came over me, just as an American, that I could not stand for this anymore. I just couldn't," he said. "I felt if I left, I would be defeated as a man, an American, and that I would be letting my son down and I didn't want to do that."
Janet tried to convince him to drop it and leave.
"'Honey, I just can't leave yet,'" he told her. "That's when a car pulled up."
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R-Minn) and U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), exited the car.
"We talked about my plan and then they decided to join me," Garity said. "I felt much safer then."
The representatives held onto the police line tape and King removed scissors from his pocket and cut the tape, Jim said.
"My heart was racing at that point," he said. "That's when the officer came flying down the steps and confronted us -- he wasn't real pleased with me."
King explained Jim had a "First Amendment right to be there."
"It was just a momentous day," he said.
Jim said Sean, who has been taught to respect the law, was having a crisis of conscience watching the event unfold.
"He felt that I was doing the right thing and wanted to be a part of it," Jim said. "But I saw in his eyes, he thought we might be breaking the law."
Later, Jim explained to Sean his belief that "when your cause is just and true, it is never wrong to act."
Sean joined his dad on the march up the famed steps.
"It was really cool because we started walking up with the representatives and stuff," Sean said. "I felt kind of good to do it."
It was also scary, Sean added, due to the police.
"They were forceful but respectful," Jim said of the officers.
He noticed only a few members of the crowd walked up the steps after them.
"I yelled down to them it's your First Amendment right to be here, come up, come up," Jim recounted. "Then the crowd started ascending the steps. At least 150 people came up."
There were no arrests made.
Jim "got caught up in the moment" at the top of the steps.
"I felt like Rocky, in the movie," he said.
Bachmann later told the fourth-grader "Sean, today your daddy and you changed history," according to Jim.
"I believe that someday he will be a better man for the experience," Jim said of his son. "Seeing Sean pose beneath the statue of Abe Lincoln with Congresswoman Bachmann and the look on his face made me the proudest father on the planet. One person can make a difference -- even a small child."