Four popular memorials were vandalized with graffiti over Presidents’ Day weekend, including the Washington Monument and the World War II, Lincoln and D.C. War memorials.
The graffiti was written in black permanent marker. One message was written at the World War II Memorial, one at the Washington Monument and one at the D.C. War Memorial. Two messages were written at the Lincoln Memorial.
“Somebody appears to have, with Sharpie or magic marker, tagged similar messages at the Lincoln Memorial, on the Washington Monument and at the World War II Memorial,” said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.
Grafitti was also found along the National Mall on street signs and utility boxes.
U.S. Park Police and National Park Service said that the graffiti markings were not political or racial, but did seem similar to one another. The writing only covered a small area, but did have several lines of text.
Some of the messages read, “Jackie shot JFK;” “blood test is a lie, leukemia, cancer HIV get a second opinion;” and “9/11/01 … pilots fly planes into WTC.”
According to officials, the incidents happened between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday.
U.S. Park Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage from each of the locations and believe that all of the incidents are related.
Litterst said that the memorials will be cleaned, but it could take several treatments to remove the graffiti since the process is tricky.
“Something like marble, which is more porous than granite, may have a different way to take it off,” he said. “Sometimes it takes multiple cleaning and cleansings to get it to come out, but of course, in the course of getting it off… we don’t want to do any further damage to the stone.”