Holmes Norton scolds Secret Service after anniversary

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“It is inexcusable that people had to wait on their feet for long hours in such hot and humid conditions, that a number of people fainted,” she said in a letter sent Thursday. 

The list of speakers at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday included President Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Holmes Norton said she understood the increased burden the Secret Service was under to guard three presidents. However, she noted that the Secret Service has coordinated security at much bigger events, including the inauguration earlier this year. 

Holmes Norton said that the general public entrance was bottlenecked by the lack of metal detectors, and noted that it could have easily been prevented.

"Security personnel belatedly added magnetometers and hand-held metal detector wands to speed up the long delays, showing that with routine, advanced planning, the misery your agency caused could have been avoided,” she said. 

During Obama’s inauguration earlier this year, Holmes Norton met with members of the service ahead of the event and said she is aware of the advanced planning that usually goes into it. 

Holmes Norton attended the original March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. In interviews before Wednesday’s event, she noted the massive crowds that attended the event in 1963.