This past Saturday, the Lincoln Memorial was closed down in the wake of a large graduation party stemming from a local university that left the area trashed with the site covered in litter.
The National Mall branch of the National Park Service issued the closure 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,” stated the National Mall NPS via a tweet at roughly 9 in the morning on Saturday. “We will reopen as soon as the area has been cleaned and made safe.” The announcement included an image of the site that had been blocked off with barriers and pieces of caution tape, as well as a park worker trying to clean up the massive amount of litter sitting on the steps of the area.
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. We will reopen as soon as the area has been cleaned and made safe. pic.twitter.com/AVuOeoof0y
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 21, 2022
The Memorial site was opened later that day. “Thanks to our facilities staff for the quick clean up this morning,” stated an NPS tweet. “The Lincoln Memorial is open. We appreciate your patience.”
One spokesman for the NPS outright declined to make a public statement about which school, and/or schools, that the graduates in the part came from, but Georgetown University put out their own release, as reported by NBC 4 Washington, stating that it was watching “the concerning and disappointing activity at the Lincoln Memorial.” The central campus for Georgetown is located within a short walk away from the site of the Lincoln Memorial, and about two miles away from the National Mall.
“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,” stated the University. “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.”
The consumption of alcohol has been illegal while on the National Mall for some time, but the NPS spokesman has stated that no arrests have been made as of yet.
Twitter users stated their disappointment about the mess left on the national memorial. Quite a few users connected the dots and threw criticism at the students of Georgetown as being the most obvious suspects:
- Derek Willis, data journalism professor: “‘local university’”
- April Reign, activist: “‘Local university’ [email protected]. The participants should be cleaning up their mess, and/or the school should be billed for the (government?) resources used to clean up.”
- Melissa Byrne, former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign surrogate: “@Georgetown this you?”
- Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News Pentagon Reporter: “Georgetown University students blamed for mess at Lincoln Memorial, sources say.”
- Ajit Pai, former FCC Chairman: “In 2010, Georgetown University ‘committed to three campus-wide [environmental] principles,’ the first being ‘[d]emonstrating respect for nature and society.’ The university president said these commitments were made ‘to minimize our environmental impact.’”
- Katrina Kincade, reporter, WBZ Boston: “Bruh. This is so disappointing. As someone who went to school in DC, none of this ‘celebration’ was necessary for your grad pics.”
- Lindsay Watts, journalist, Fox 5 DC: “Terrible that workers have to be out cleaning up in this heat because of stupid behavior!”