Lincoln Memorial vandalized with red spray paint

This vandalism was found on the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. Credit: National Park Service.

WASHINGTON (WRC) — Someone has vandalized the Lincoln Memorial, the National Park Service says.

The words “F— law” were found written in red spray paint early Tuesday on a pillar at the monument that overlooks the Capitol building and National Mall, NPS said Tuesday afternoon. The graffiti was found about 4:30 a.m.

Work to remove the words is underway. A preservation crew is using a “mild, gel-type architectural paint stripper” to remove the paint without damaging the stone. The crew is applying a layer of the gel, rinsing it, checking how effective it was and repeating as necessary.

Additional vandalism, in silver spray paint, was found on a sign on the 1400 block of Constitution Avenue. Any words were indecipherable.

That graffiti was small scrawlings that appeared to say: “Jackie shot JFK;” “blood test is a lie, leukemia, cancer HIV get a second option;” and “9/11/01 … pilots fly planes into WTC.”

Kevin Hall, a U.S. serviceman who took his family to the Lincoln Memorial after the vandalism in February, said he took it personally.

“I served the greatest air force in the world, but to come here to see that is like a slap in our face,” he said.

Defacing a national monument or memorial is rare but not unheard of. The most significant case in recent memory was a bizarre incident in 2013, when a woman threw green paint on the Lincoln Memorial and later at the Washington National Cathedral. She was arrested but later found incompetent to stand trial.

In that case, it took crews nearly a month to clear the green paint from the Lincoln Memorial, but NPS staff are skilled in the tricky removal process of graffiti removal.

Anyone with information on the recent crime is asked to contact U.S. Park Police at 202-610-7515.