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Mrs. Norton used Monday’s occasion to say the existing memorial, located in a shaded area of West Potomac Park and “paid for with the blood and treasure of D.C. residents, will remain exclusively dedicated to the District’s World War I residents.”

For Ms. Rucker and her family, honoring D.C. residents who serve their country is more personal than preserving a memorial.

“It’s just that flag issue is huge to us because we’re fourth-generation Washingtonians, and we love this city a great deal,” she said.