Just three days after The Lincoln Memorial was found splattered with green paint, another D.C. landmark was defaced. This time, the same substance was spotted at the site of the world famous Smithsonian Castle. The particular statue that was vandalized is that of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
As someone who attended college in the nation’s capital, just mere steps from The Mall, I’ve always felt a special connection to D.C. My undergraduate days were a combination of guest lectures at various museums and field days at the base of the Washington Monument. Perhaps not the most typical college experience, but I know the TFM community is not the judgmental type. Anyway, when I read that some assholes were parading around the town that not only represents my nation, but also my alma mater, I was displeased at best.
See, the thing about D.C. is that it’s not my town. It’s not Obama’s town, or Boehner’s town, or Roberts’ town. In fact, it doesn’t even belong to the money on K Street. Nope, the District of Columbia belongs to each and every one of us. As Americans, this is our city, and quite frankly, I’m not really about someone vandalizing the city that unites us.
Maybe I’m taking it too seriously. Maybe it’s just a prank or a dare gone too far, but if Dorn can freak out when the TFM office sign is stolen, then dammit, I can freak out when someone wreaks havoc on our nation’s landmarks.
As it stands, the paint from The Lincoln Memorial has still not been completely removed, despite two days of cleaning. The Smithsonian Castle will begin the process of cleaning the Joseph Henry statue today.
Let’s just hope this was a publicity stunt gone wrong and not some pathetic attempt at symbolizing the destruction of our society by way of racial and cultural schisms through the public defacing of historical American icons…or you know, something like that.
Either way, the vandalism isn’t being taken lightly. If there’s one thing Washingtonians won’t tolerate, it’s the tarnishing of Lincoln, because remember, he was a conservative and a liberal…depending on who’s talking.
Image via fark.com