The National Park Service is upset over a plan to illuminate the Gateway Arch in pink Monday in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Spokesman Dave Barna said Wednesday the Park Service does not oppose to the cause, but rather the precedent it sets for uses of the 630-foot-tall arch, which the agency is charged with maintaining.
"If you allow a certain type of event with one organization, you open it up to everyone else," he said. "We consider these monuments sacred sites. The color or the style or the function was all the result of those architects and design. They're pieces of art, and we don't want to see changes, even temporarily."
Congress approved illuminating the arch at the urging of Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., whose mother died of the disease in 1988.
"Virtually everyone you talk to has some connection to the disease," Talent said earlier this month. Lighting the arch, he said, "will also send a message that we are searching for a cure" while promoting awareness and early testing.