Tourists in the nation's capital watched in awe as engineers rappeled down the sides of the Washington Monument.
The engineers are members of the Difficult Access Team from Chicago and their mission was to make checks for cracks and other damage to the monument's exterior from the earthquake that shook Washington D.C. last month.
When the ground started shaking back in August, it posed some pretty big challenges to one of the world's best-known buildings. More than 130 years old, it wasn't built to any modern seismic code.
Bob Vogel of the National Park Service said the good news is that the monument is structurally sound and is not going anywhere.
"It is a testament to the original builders that the monument has withstood not just this earthquake, but an even larger one in the late 1800s, " he said. "They obviously knew what they were doing..."
"The better news, none of our visitors were hurt during the earthquake," he added.
The monument has been closed since the earthquake hit and will stay closed indefinitely. Although this decision will leave many visitors disappointed, the National Park Service says it's all in the interest of public safety.
"And then I began to feel the floor under my feet shaking. My first thought was that: I'm going to run. I'm going to get out of here. And then I realized that I'm responsible for the 20 lives that are around me right then." - Nikolette Williams, National Park Service.
1. What is an earthquake?
2. What part of the U.S. was struck by an earthquake last month?
2. What is a national monument?
3. Which national monument is closed due to the earthquake that shook the East Coast last month?
1. Why were engineers sent to the Washington monument?
2. Why did National Park officials decide to close the monument to visitors?
3. Do you agree with the decision. Why or why not?