WASHINGTON – The man who was photographed caring for the National Mall during the government shutdown is being rewarded for his good deeds.
“I didn’t see it as a nuisance, I saw it as an opportunity to serve my country,” says Chris Cox.
The professional chain saw artist was in town for an exhibition as the shutdown began. Seeing the state of the memorial grounds only one day into the shutdown, Cox decided to stay and care for the grounds for 16 days.
A photo of Cox mowing the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial was shared online and brought attention to his efforts. But mowing wasn’t all he did.
“I cut fallen trees off of the pass. I emptied hundreds of trash cans. I cut about three hours worth of grass. I picked up thousands of cigarette butts and shook lots of veterans hands,” Cox says.
Wednesday, Cox received a chainsaw in thanks for his good deed from charity crowd funding site, CrowdItForward.com and STIHL, a lawn equipment manufacturer.
Cox plans to use the gift to continue to pay it forward and says he will start by clearing trees for disabled veterans in his hometown of Mount Pleasent, S.C.
“Anybody can be the lawnmower man. Not just Chris Cox. Anybody can see something, go make it happen and lead by example the way all Americans used to anyway,” Cox says.
Chris Cox received a chainsaw in thanks for his good deed. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)