IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 29, 2009
Mr. Thune (for himself, Mr. Webb, and Mr. Rockefeller) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To authorize the rededication of the District of Columbia War Memorial as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial to honor the sacrifices made by American veterans of World War I.
This Act may be cited as the
Frank Buckles World War I Memorial
Congress finds the following:
In 2017, the United States will commemorate the centennial of its entry into World War I, which introduced the American soldier to the world in what would become a familiar role as defender, liberator, and promoter of peace and democracy.
provided by the United States to Great Britain, France, and other allies in
World War I marked the first time in the history of the United States that
American soldiers went overseas to defend foreign soil against aggression, and
it marked the true beginning of
the American century.
Although World War
I was called the
Great War and the
War to End All
Wars, in fact, the United States would commit its troops to the defense
of foreign lands several more times in the 20th century.
While three of these subsequent conflicts, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, rightfully have commemorative memorials on the National Mall in the District of Columbia, there is no memorial to World War I on the Mall, even though more Americans gave their lives in World War I than in either the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
While a memorial to General John Pershing and the American Expeditionary Forces that he led during World War I is located in the District of Columbia, that memorial is not located on the Mall and does not commemorate the total participation of the United States and its Armed Forces in World War I.
The District of Columbia War Memorial is located on the Mall, adjacent to the Lincoln Reflecting Pool between the World War II and Korean War memorials, and was erected in memory of the 499 residents of the District of Columbia who died in World War I.
The District of Columbia War Memorial is in extreme disrepair and is often overlooked by residents and visitors to Washington.
In recognition of
the upcoming anniversaries of America’s entry into World War I, and of the
armistice that concluded World War I on November 11, 1918, and in order to
honor the members of the United States Armed Forces who served in World War I
and to ensure that future generations of Americans will know the complete
history of America’s 20th-century struggle against aggression and
totalitarianism, it is timely and proper to rededicate the site of the District
of Columbia War Memorial on the National Mall as a
National and District
of Columbia World War I Memorial.
Because this Act authorizes the rededication and related enhancement of a commemorative work that already exists, and that is already sited within the Reserve as defined in Commemorative Works Act, the provisions of the Commemorative Works Act regarding site approval and location of commemorative works do not apply to this Act.
Authority to establish commemorative work
The World War I Memorial Foundation is authorized to establish a commemorative work rededicating the District of Columbia War Memorial as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial, including—
full restoration of the existing District of Columbia War Memorial; and
the addition of an appropriate sculptural or other commemorative element, which shall complement and preserve the existing memorial and its landscape, at the site of the existing memorial to make it a national memorial.
Compliance with standards for commemorative works; location of memorial
Except as provided by subsection (b), the rededication of the District of Columbia War Memorial shall be in accordance with chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code (popularly known as the Commemorative Works Act).
Sections 8908 and 8905 of title 40, United States Code shall not apply to this Act.
The Foundation shall solicit and accept private contributions for the memorial.
Deposit of excess funds
If, upon payment of all expenses of the rededication (including the maintenance and preservation amount provided for in chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code, or upon expiration of the authority for the commemorative work under such chapter), there remains a balance of funds received for the establishment of the commemorative work, the World War I Memorial Foundation shall transmit the amount of the balance to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the account provided for in section 8906(b) of title 40, United States Code.