Washington, DC - Thursday morning, First Lady Melania Trump participated in the ceremonial reopening of the Washington Monument. The national landmark had been shut down for more than 37 months for renovations and additional construction. The First Lady was joined by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Rob Wallace, National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Jeff Reinbold, Deputy Director of the National Park Service Dan Smith, and fourth graders from a local elementary school.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the newly constructed visitor screening facility, the First Lady made a ceremonial first ride with the students to the top of the monument. In line with her Be Best initiative, the First Lady also distributed “Every Kid in the Outdoors” 4th Grade passes. This program provides free access to fourth graders, and those accompanying them, to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas including all national parks. The program focuses on helping kids engage with nature and the environment. Supported by various federal agencies, the program aims to establish a life-long connection between children and the American outdoor heritage.