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Lincoln Memorial Reopened After Vandalism, Questions Linger

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A U.S. Park Police officer stands guard next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the memorial after the memorial was closed to visitors after someone splattered green paint on the statue and the floor area.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A U.S. Park Police officer stands guard next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the memorial after the memorial was closed to visitors after someone splattered green paint on the statue and the floor area.

While there is still some paint visible, the Lincoln Memorial has reopened. The overnight vandalism of the Memorial has the Park Police union asking Congress for more federal funds.

The paint was found on Lincoln's knee, though no words or messages were written on the memorial.

The vandalism was discovered by a visitor at 1:30 a.m., and U.S. Park Police are reviewing surveillance footage from nearby cameras. Half-a-dozen police officers reviewed the scene. Crews brought in power washers to clean the paint off of the memorial.

The green paint splattered on the Lincoln Memorial is hitting one group particularly hard: the Park Police. It's their job to protect the monuments across D.C. and the U.S. Officers from the top down have already had to take 27 hours off because of the federal budget cuts called sequestration.

Ian Glick is the chairman if the union that represents the Park Police. He says his vandalism incident highlights the need for their budget to actually be increased.

"While I don't want to say sequestration played a role in this particular incident, what it does play a role in is the fact that there are fewer officers to protect the areas and we ve been asking for increased funding and staffing since back when Chief Chambers first sounded the alarm post-9/11," Glick says. 

While the Park Police are asking for more money, House Republicans are proposing even deeper budget cuts to the federal attractions across D.C.

The memorial, which was dedicated in 1922 and attracted six million visitors in 2011, has since been reopened.

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