I went to Washington DC this week. We went to the National Mall to get some cool pictures. I saw something that just horrified me. It was shocking to me and upon speaking to another woman there, I found out that it is an everyday occurrence.
We were having a grand time, exploring the National Mall and taking pictures with monuments in the back ground. It was a cool day and was drizzling off and on. It didn’t take long before we had to use the bathroom. Our history guide, knew there was a bathroom we could use under the Lincoln Memorial. As we walked down the corridor towards the ladies room, the smell of urine began to waft towards us. As we got closer it became much stronger and almost unbearable. As we entered the facilities, I was appalled. It was filthy!. There was piles of toilet paper on the floor in every stall, feces on the wall, damp toilet paper still clung to the seat of many of the toilets, and dangled down onto the floor. I do not know if I have to words to adequately describe how nasty the space was. It had obviously not been cleaned in a very long time. It was worse than any bathroom I had ever been in. Worse than any I had seen in the 18 other countries I had visited. Worse than any port-a-potty or outhouse I had used.
I have for a long time had issue with women who leave the bathroom and don’t wipe their urine off the seat to leave it clean for the women who follow them. But, this goes far beyond that. I mentioned to a lady in the restroom that it must have been an extraordinary day. She shook her head sadly. She told me that she brings groups of students here to see the Memorial regularly and it is ALWAYS like this. Really!?! I was told by another it is because of budget cuts. What!?! We live in the 13th richest country in the world and we cant afford to have someone clean the bathroom? Is this what we want the people visiting our Nations Capital to see. What does this do to our national pride? Would you have someone over to your house and not try and have your bathroom presentable? What do people visiting from other country’s think of us if they happen into this bathroom? How about the school children who take feild trips to see the monument? I tell you it was not sanitary.
I prefer to be uplifting and hopeful in my blog. I do not like to complain or bellyache about things that I have no control over. I can not fathom what the politics are behind not cleaning the bathrooms at the Lincoln Memorial. I do know that other bathrooms on the National Mall were fine and not it this horrific condition. I do not know what I could possible do to affect this. Would writing letters to my congressmen and asking that they have someone stop down and clean the bathrooms help?
I will always clean up after myself in a public bathroom. Pick up anything I drop on the floor, wipe the seat if I happen to dribble some urine on it, and wipe of the countertop if my hands drip on it. I ask that you kindly do the same. If you have any suggestions as to what we can do to get the bathroom situation at the Lincoln Memorial rectified, please share. I know their may be more important humanitarian effort that need time and attention out there but cleaning the bathroom seems such a basic one.
Thank you for reading my blog today. Please clean up after yourself. Please smile at those you pass. Please try to leave every space and every interaction a little better when you leave it. May your life be full of wonderful experiences and may the world be better by your presence.
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