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Lincoln Memorial Briefly Closes After Grads Leave Broken Bottles, Spilled Alcohol: Officials

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 5/21/2022 Sophia Barnes
Litter left on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on May 21, 2022, after a graduation celebration. © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

Litter left on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on May 21, 2022, after a graduation celebration.

The Lincoln Memorial was briefly closed to the public Saturday after celebrating university graduates left a mess on the steps of the monument, National Park Service officials said.

“Litter, broken bottles and spilled wine and champagne” were seen the morning after the unofficial gathering, NPS spokesperson Mike Litterst said.

The memorial reopened after staff cleaned up the mess, officials said about noon Saturday.

Though Litterst did not publicly name which school or schools the graduates may be affiliated with, Georgetown University said in a statement that it was monitoring "the concerning and disappointing activity at the Lincoln Memorial."

The statement goes on to say: "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."

No arrests or citations have been made, Litterst said. Consuming alcohol is not allowed on the National Mall.

The closure comes one day before the Lincoln Memorial’s centennial celebration. The monument is set to reopen once it’s clean and safe, Litterst said.

No changes have been announced for Sunday's centennial.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

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