Visitors flock to Washington Monument as it reopens to public for first time in 6 months

Visitors wait to enter the Washington Monument as it reopens for the first time in six months, July 14, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

After being closed for six months, the Washington Monument reopened to visitors Wednesday.

Florida resident Michael McDowell said his hometown had been open and operating for a while, so it was nice to get away and do something new.

“Florida made an early transition, they let us do things early on,” he said.

McDowell also said it was nice to be out doing something new, noting it was good to see other people and leave his home office.

Maira Wilson traveled to D.C. from Brazil, and it’s her first time in the city. Wilson said although it was nice to be out with a mask, it felt strange.

“It’s very different because in Brazil, we’re all wearing masks still and less than half of the population is vaccinated, so seeing everybody so free and going to places is so different,” she said.

Wilson was with her husband, Antoine Wilson, who traveled from New York. Although he’d been to D.C. a few times before, he’d never been to the Washington Monument.

“It’s better for Maira because she’s only in the country for a few weeks to check out the monuments and stuff like that — and I haven’t done it yet, I’ve only been in D.C. a few times,” he said.

Visitors will need tickets to visit the monument, and they can only be had online at recreation.gov. There’s a $1 reservation fee per ticket, and the tickets for each day become available at 10 a.m. the day before.

The monument was closed from March to October 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, reopening and then closing again in January of this year. Visitors to the monument are required to wear masks, the park service said, regardless of vaccination status.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

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