The National Park Service (NPS) said students, reportedly from Georgetown University, “left litter, broken bottles and spilled wine and champagne covering the steps” of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning after partaking in a graduation celebration.
Fox News reported that the students were from Georgetown University and the NPS said it temporarily closed the Memorial for the morning but later announced before noon on social media that it had reopened.
Thanks to our facilities staff for the quick clean up this morning. The Lincoln Memorial is open. We appreciate your patience.
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 21, 2022
A 2018 student blog on the Georgetown website said it is a tradition among senior students to watch the sunrise on “the morning of graduation” at the monument.
While Georgetown University did not explicitly confirm that its students were responsible for the trashing, a statement provided by the university said they were monitoring “the concerning and disappointing activity at the Lincoln Memorial,” as reported by NBC 4.
The statement further read:
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. 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.
NPS spokesman Mike Litterest told NBC 4 that no one has been arrested or cited as of yet in regards to the trashing at the Lincoln Memorial. The outlet noted it is prohibited to consume alcohol on the premises of the National Mall.
The trashing comes as Centennial Celebrations are set to take place for the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. Sunday’s events are part of a larger series of celebrations taking place throughout the month in honor of the monument, the Washington Post noted.
HAPPENING NOW: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial this month, today's ceremony -Building on Lincoln’s Vision of Unity and Equality- includes scholars & celebrities sharing powerful stories about the memorial & the man it honors. #LincolnMemorial100 pic.twitter.com/eoiHa2bNZY
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 22, 2022
The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922, after construction began in 1914, in honor of the Union’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.