- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 25, 2013

The day after thousands rallied to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, the National Mall looks like a trash dump.

The grass from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial is covered Sunday with empty soda cans, water bottles, boxed lunches, newspapers, a broken chair and rally signs. The Reflecting Pool also was filled with trash.

Although the trash cans were full along the expanse, the attendees did not attempt to leave their garbage near the bins. Instead, they left everything on the grass where they stood.

On Saturday, prominent Democrats such as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and MSNBC host Al Sharpton spoke to tens of thousands assembled along the expanse.

They analyzed the meaning of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for today’s political issues. Several referenced Trayvon Martin, whose parents attended the event, and called for states to recall “stand your ground laws” — which had nothing to do with George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

Garbage litters the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, a day after the 50th-anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington. (Emily Miller/The Washington Times)
Garbage litters the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial on ... more >

Before the event, Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray spoke at a D.C. statehood rally and march that took place at the D.C. War Memorial, which is on Independence Avenue Southwest near the Lincoln Memorial. Mr. Gray then moved a few blocks over to speak at the anniversary rally.

Clearly, his protesters moved with him, as the grassy area nearest the marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial has a large pile of signs left behind that said: “DC Statehood NOW,” “We Want Budet [sic] Autonomy,” “Give D.C. to the people” and “Free DC!! Statehood now!!”

Mr. Gray is hoping that Congress gives him budget authority this year, but people who think it is OK to leave their signs on the ground for someone else to clean up can’t handle more political autonomy.

The trashed National Mall on Sunday demonstrates disrespect for our nation and other citizens. The shameful mess left behind from the anniversary march dishonors King’s memory.