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Washington Monument reopens to fanfare after 2011 quake

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 01:49

May 12 - The Washington Monument, long a symbol of the U.S. capital, reopens to speeches, songs and fanfare after being closed for almost three years to repair earthquake damage. Mana Rabiee reports.

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It was with fanfare and patriotism that the Washington Monument reopened on Monday. The iconic structure, a symbol of the nation's capitol, was closed for nearly three years to repair earthquake damage. The marble and granite tower, the tallest structure in Washington, was praised during the reopening ceremony as a symbol of American freedom and principles. SOUNDBITE: INTERIOR SECRETARY SALLY JEWELL SAYING: "Today is about celebrating the reopening of the Washington Monument and the great partnerships and individuals that made this day possible. But to me, it's about celebrating the everyday heroes who may not have a monument but would make George Washington very proud of this country today." The 5.8 magnitude quake in August 2011 shook the 555-foot structure and sent visitors scrambling from its observation deck. For months, the monument to George Washington was shrouded in scaffolding as workers carried out the $15 million repair. Then finally on Monday.... "Please gather by the ribbon." People started lining up for tickets at 1:30 in the morning. Some 600 tickets were snapped up in the first hour. TEXAS RESIDENTS JUDY AND NELSON LANGE SAYING: "The price of freedom for us is just unimaginable, it's just fabulous, we're blessed." "What it means to us is, this is the beginning of our country and the freedom that goes with it. It means a lot for us to be here for the opening." FORMER U.S. MARINE AND IRAQ VETERAN CHRIS BOWERS SAYING: "It was beautiful, I've never been to this monument, I've never really been to any of these monuments, so to have the honor of being one of the first people up was really nice." The Washington Monument was completed in 1884. It drew about 600,000 visitors a year before it closed. Visitors from near and far, happy to once again enjoy this grande monument to the nation's founding father.

Washington Monument reopens to fanfare after 2011 quake

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 01:49

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