Washington Monument, Lincoln and WWII Memorials vandalized with graffiti

By Allen Cone  |  Feb. 21, 2017 at 3:51 PM
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Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, along with the World War II Memorial were all damaged with graffiti over the holiday weekend, government officials said Tuesday.

U.S. Park Police and National Park Service officials said at a news conference Tuesday in front of the Lincoln Memorial that the markings were scrawled in black permanent marker in five spots and were similar in nature.

Park Police officials said the messages aren't considered a hate crime but that the perpetrator could face vandalism charges.

Work crews expect the cleaning to take about two weeks with several treatments of solvents used, said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

"Today, it's certainly an ugly scar," Litterst said during the news conference. "A month from now, the millions that come here to see it won't even be aware that this happened."

The Lincoln Memorial had two messages, and the Washington Monument and World War II Memorial had one each. A similar one was found on an electrical box in Washington, D.C.

One message said, "Jackie shot JFK." Another mentioned the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And one said "blood test is a lie" and "get second opinion" for leukemia, cancer and HIV.

Sgt. Anna Rose, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, said the messages ranged from about the size of the palm of a hand to a football.

The incidents likely occurred between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

"We understand that there was quite a crowd here Saturday night who may have seen something," Sgt. Anna Rose, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, said at the news conference.

In 2013, a Chinese woman, Jiamei Tian was accused of splashing green paint on several D.C. landmarks, including the Washington National Cathedral. The case was dismissed in 2015 after a judge determined that she was incompetent to stand trial.

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