KEY POINTS

  • Washington Monument, public facilities at the National Mall and Memorial Parks closed
  • The facilities will be closed until Jan. 24, and possibly afterward
  • Threat to disrupt the 59th presidential inauguration cited as reason

The Washington Monument has been closed for public until Jan. 24 at least following the havoc created by the supporters of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Building.

The National Park Service in D.C. said that the temporary closures of public facilities, parking areas and roadways were in response to credible threats to visitors and park resources.

Thousands of rioters violently barreled their way into the Capitol Building last week to disturb the certification of the presidential election which Trump lost to Biden. Several inaugural events are traditionally held in the National Park.

The suspension of activities at the National Mall and Memorial Parks may also be extended should the threats to public safety continues. Members of the Covid Memorial Project hold American flags in front of the Washington monument to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus Members of the Covid Memorial Project hold American flags in front of the Washington monument to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY “Groups involved in the riots at the U.S. Capitol continue to threaten to disrupt the 59th presidential inauguration on (Jan. 20),” according to the statement from Jeffrey P. Reinbold, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. “This includes the setup and execution of inaugural events, which occur in several park areas.”

Reinbold said that local authorities were consulted and the basis of such actions was “necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety.”

The news caught the attention of several netizens.

A Twitter user said that airports within the D.C. area should be closed days before and after the inauguration.

Considering that the country is still experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, several netizens suggested a “virtualized inauguration ceremony” or do a live stream of the event from a conference room.

The National Mall and Memorial Park’s operation schedules have been modified previously in response to the pandemic. Among the sites whose operations got suspended include Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and Old Post Office Tower Tour.

The Washington Monument was built to honor and memorialize the first US President George Washington. Robert Mills designed this historical figure and it was completed by Thomas Casey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.