Rioters returned to the nation’s capital Sunday night under the guise of seeking justice for George Floyd. In reality, they just wanted to commit crime. In the mayhem, rioters and looters set the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church ablaze. The church, which can be seen from the White House, has stood in Washington since 1816 and visited by every president since James Madison.
St. John’s wasn’t the only piece of history to be a victim to vandalism on Sunday. Several beloved monuments throughout the region were defaced with graffiti, including the World War II Memorial. As some people somberly noted, the memorial was defaced not even a week after Memorial Day.
Spray paint messages included, “Do black vets count yet?”
Cleaning graffiti off of the World War II Monument, just 6 days after Memorial Day. pic.twitter.com/NavghZePVk
— Bryce Klehm (@BryceKlehm) May 31, 2020
Destruction to other iconic monuments were documented by the National Mall and Memorial Parks, National Park Service.
In the wake of last night’s demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall. For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition. pic.twitter.com/LmIHfW2AHj
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 31, 2020
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The Lincoln Memorial is no stranger to vandalism. About seven years ago, a group of pranksters sprayed green spray paint all over the 16th president.
I also find it ironic that protestors in DC have defaced the Lincoln Memorial where Dr Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech. Is nothing sacred?
— Buzz Patterson for Congress (CA-7) (@BuzzPatterson) June 1, 2020