Sunday and Monday were days of darkness in the Washington region, literally. When many people left work on Monday, daylight was suddenly gone. Also gone Monday was the once-brilliant illumination of the screen around the Washington Monument.
On Sunday morning, a bit of the sun itself was blacked out, in a partial eclipse. Clouds reduced the view, but some people saw it.
Three events joined to steal the light from the skies and skyline: the moon seeming to cross the sun’s face, the approaching end to repairs on the monument and the annual return of standard time.
On Friday, the sun had set after 6 p.m. On Monday, the first workday on standard time, sunset was about an hour earlier.
The National Park Service said Sunday was the last night of the decorative lights on the monument. They were to go off in preparation for removal of the scaffolding used to repair earthquake damage. Monday night, the obelisk looked pale and ghostly.