President Barack Obama made the short trip from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to make clear that the country's national parks and monuments are open for business.
A deal Friday night between the White House and congressional leaders avoided a government shutdown that would have closed popular tourist sites across the country. The president greeted surprised tourists and told them, "Because Congress was able to settle its differences, that's why this place is open today and everybody's able to enjoy their visit."
"That's the kind of future cooperation I hope we have going forward," the president said.
A day after capping harrowing negotiations with a last-minute deal, the president cheerfully bounded up the steps to the imposing statue of Lincoln at the memorial on the National Mall. The quick stop was unannounced and throngs of visitors shouted and snapped photos.
Obama told the crowd that "this is what America is all about _ everybody from different places enjoying those things that bind us together."