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Washington Monument reopens to public

After 994 days the Washington Monument is up and running.
The Washington Monument is seen behind the US flag May 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.
The Washington Monument is seen behind the US flag May 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.

After 994 days, the stones have been patched, the cracks have been fixed and 500 tons of scaffolding have been moved off the premises meaning the Washington Monument is open for business!

On Monday, the National Park Services re-opened the national landmark to the public with an hour-long ceremony where schoolchildren, bands, singers, and servicemen attended.  

“We’re so excited to welcome the public back to the monument”, the National Park Service’s Jenny Anzelmo-Saries said on Monday. “Folks can walk up. They can touch the stone, feel the marble and get in the elevator and get up to the top,”

The monument has been closed for 32 months after an earthquake in 2011 hit 90 miles southwest of Washington D.C. causing more than 150 cracks in the landmark’s marble, including one that split a stone from the top to bottom near the peak of the monument.

“I think the National Park Service and the various contractors did a spectacular job,”  philanthropist David M. Rubenstein said in an email last week. “I am glad that everyone can once again enjoy the unique views from the top and also have a chance to think about the extraordinary things George Washington did for our country.”

Tours on Monday did not open to the public until 1p.m., but starting Tuesday, the National Park Service will offer extended visiting hours through the summer from 9a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.