This Is How Liberal University Students Treat America's National Shrines

By Pamela Glass | Thursday, 26 May 2022 05:15
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The Lincoln Memorial shut down briefly after a graduation party from a local university left the site's grounds strewn with litter on Saturday.

The National Mall branch of the National Park Service announced early Saturday morning. “The Lincoln Memorial is closed this morning following a local university graduation celebration that left litter, broken bottles, and spilled wine and champagne covering the steps,” the National Mall NPS tweeted at roughly 9 a.m. Saturday morning. “We will reopen as soon as the area has been cleaned and made safe.”

The tweet linked to a picture of the site cordoned off with barriers and caution tape and a park worker sweeping up litter from the steps of the site. “Litter, broken bottles and spilled wine and champagne” were seen the morning after the unofficial gathering, NPS spokesperson Mike Litterst also noted.

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The Memorial was opened later that morning. “Thanks to our facilities staff for the quick clean-up this morning,” NPS tweeted. “The Lincoln Memorial is open. We appreciate your patience.”

A spokesman for the NPS declined to publicly confirm which school or schools the graduates came from. Still, Georgetown University released a statement via NBC 4 Washington, stating it was monitoring “the concerning and disappointing activity at the Lincoln Memorial.” Georgetown’s campus is within walking distance of the Lincoln Memorial, about two miles away from the National Mall.

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“While Georgetown is one of several institutions celebrating graduation ceremonies this weekend, we have had no University-sponsored events at or around the Lincoln Memorial,” the University continued. “We expect all members of our community to be responsible citizens of our campus and our city and be respectful of the history and institutions of Washington, D.C.”

Consuming alcohol is illegal on the National Mall, yet the NPS spokesman said no arrests had been made. Twitter users lamented the mess left on the steps. Many users connected the dots and called out Georgetown students as the obvious suspects:

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The recent incident comes on the heels of the Lincoln Memorial’s Centennial celebration, which is scheduled to occur at 10 a.m. Sunday morning. According to the Lincoln Memorial’s official website, the celebration, entitled “Building on Lincoln’s Vision of Unity and Equality” and hosted by the Lincoln Group of DC in conjunction with the National Park Service, will “highlight the full range of meaning behind the Lincoln Memorial, from its original meaning as a memorial to Lincoln’s life and contribution as the savior of the Union to becoming a symbol of civil rights.”

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The Lincoln Memorial Is 100 Years Old and The National Park Service and its partners have been hosting events around the city all month.

In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a crowd of over 75,000 after she was not allowed to sing at Constitution Hall because she was Black. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the very same steps to some 250,000 people.

The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many historic moments. A symbol of civil rights, peace, and equality, the monument to the 16th president sees millions flock to it annually. This month marks 100 years since its dedication on May 30, 1922, and the National Park Service has been holding events to mark the occasion.

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