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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
In perhaps one of the most stark sights of the nation's ongoing government shutdown in Washington DC, a man clutching a South Carolina state flag was seen mowing the lawn at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday.
In a photo snapped by Twitter user @sallyhs, the man is shown pushing a lawnmower outside the memorial and holding the flag.
"Spotted outside Lincoln Memorial," said Sally. "Random dude mowing."
Fellow user @philfarley responded to the photo and said the very same man was spotted with a leafblower just outside the World War II memorial on Tuesday night. Once again, he was holding up the Palmetto State's banner.
The man himself has finally come forward. Multiple news outlets have confirmed the man's identity as Chris Cox, a Mount Pleasant native who is living in Alexandria, Virginia.
According to Washington DC radio station All-News 99.1, Cox is calling his one-man endeavor the Memorial Militia.
Cox is doing the work that the Park Service rangers would be doing if they weren't furloughed by the government shutdown.
"These are our memorials. Do they think that we're just going to let them go to hell? No," Cox said to the radio station. "If they shut down our memorials, we're still going to take the trash out, we're going to clean the windows, we're going to cut the grass, we're going to pull the weeds, we're going to do the tree work."
Cox told the Washington CBS affiliate that he's not motivated by political reasons, but just wants to keep the memorials tidy as veterans prepare to come to DC for this weekend's Million Vet March.
In a video posted to the Charleston Post and Courier's Facebook page, Cox is shown emptying the trash cans around various memorials.
"All these cans are full and they could care less, and I don't know why I care, but I do, and I'm not going to allow them to have a picture in the paper of all the trash piled over," said Cox.
Cox, despite being asked to stop his work by the Park Police, says he wants to expand his efforts with other volunteers.
"They're going to be talking about the senators and the congressmen who opened up these memorials. They're also going to talk about the civilians who came together and said, 'Oh, wait a minute, we got this. We got it. Y'all go ahead and take another week off. We'll keep the memorial clean,'" said Cox.
Considering the number of monuments and memorials around DC, we'd say Cox has plenty of work to do.