Beltway Confidential

Civil War over: South Carolinian cuts grass at Lincoln Memorial

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Beltway Confidential,Michael Barone,The Weekly Standard,South Carolina,History,Government Shutdown,National Parks

The Weekly Standard had the story earlier today: An "unidentified bearded man" was cutting grass and tending the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial. Naturally, the National Park Service guards shooed him away -- can't have citizens tending the grounds around an open-air monument. The Obama administration wants you to feel shutdown pain.

Now it looks like he has been identified. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., has sent out a press release:

"Last Thursday after giving a speech on the House floor regarding the unprecedented closing of the Lincoln Memorial to the public during this government shutdown, Chris Cox came by my office to voice similar displeasure,” said Sanford. "I’d never met him and figured he was like many who voice displeasure with a piece of government, but then go on to whatever is next on their to-do list in life.

“Today I went for my run down to the Lincoln Memorial, and there in front of the memorial I saw a South Carolina flag hanging from the back of a lawn mower. Curious I went up to the flag, and who should be there, but Chris. It turns out he had taken it upon himself since our visit last week to keep up the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam and World War II memorials and surrounding grounds! He bought a lawn mower, a blower and told me he had spent the days and evenings since our visit, picking up trash, cutting grass and blowing leaves to keep walkways clean. An hour before we met, a park service officer had come up and told him he was no longer allowed to do so ... though the park service would not maintain these monuments now.”

South Carolina was the first state to proclaim it was seceding from the Union after Abraham Lincoln was elected president. But evidently a South Carolinian has taken it upon himself to tend the grounds and to place the Palmetto State's flag there. The Civil War is truly over.

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