As Christian rocker Amy Grant crooned “America the Beautiful” at the Washington Monument restoration ceremony last Monday morning, about a dozen fellow patriots chimed in with their own tune. Carrying banners criticizing Target Corp.—which donated $6.5 million to renovate the monument—they chanted off-key slogans about the discount retailer’s Nicaraguan sweatshops. National Park Service officials removed the protesters, saying that the group couldn’t exercise its First Amendment right to free expression without the proper Park Service permit. “It’s a sacred place,” Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, on hand to celebrate the restored obelisk, intoned a few moments later. “It’s where Americans have come to reflect who we are.” —Elissa Silverman

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