The Washington Monument lighting has been going strong for 43 years now. Something that started out as a group of neighborhood carolers has now evolved into a city-wide tradition with celebrities, fireworks, and thousands of revelers.
Last night, amidst that crowd were more than 100 protestors who marched from the Inner Harbor to Mount Vernon, prompted by the grand jury's decision yesterday not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. This, of course, was on the heels of a similar ruling in the Michael Brown case.
The Christmas lights on the monument were lit 25 minutes early and the fireworks ceremony was cut short, as The Sun reported this morning, because of the protestors.
"The protesters were very peaceful and very cordial, but they were making it hard to hear what was happening at the front," Mike Evitts of Downtown Partnership told The Sun. "Ultimately, we decided to shorten the program, because you just don't know what could happen."
Being a member of the crowd last night, we heard mixed reactions about the demonstrators' impact on the lighting: some were upset, some were inspired, and some (due to the sped-up schedule) missed the lighting altogether.
We compiled Baltimoreans' various reactions on social media to portray what the monument lighting was like last night—from a multitude of perspectives.