Written by Warren Shaver
We are very pleased to report that Senator Daniel Akaka and Senator Jim Webb have submitted Senate Amendment No. 2995 to the Defense Authorization Bill that may help save the historic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
If it is enacted, Senate Amendment 2995 would stop the rush to discard the authentic monument and, instead, require a thorough re-consideration of repairing the monument’s cosmetic cracks. Here is the full text of the Akaka-Webb amendment:
SEC. 1044. REPORT ON PLANS TO REPLACE THE MONUMENT AT THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, VIRGINIA.
(a) Report Required.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly submit to Congress a report setting forth the following:
(1) The current plans of the Secretaries with respect to --
(A) replacing the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia; and
(B) disposing of the current monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns, if it were removed and replaced.
(2) An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of repairing the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns rather than replacing it.
(3) A description of the current efforts of the Secretaries to maintain and preserve the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
(4) An explanation of why no attempt has been made since 1989 to repair the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
(5) A comprehensive estimate of the cost of replacement of the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the cost of repairing such monument.
(6) An assessment of the structural integrity of the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
(b) Limitation on Action.--The Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may not take any action to replace the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, until 180 days after the date of the receipt by Congress of the report required by subsection (a).
(c) Exception.--The limitation in subsection (b) shall not prevent the Secretary of the Army or the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from repairing the current monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns or from acquiring any blocks of marble for uses related to such monument, subject to the availability of appropriations for that purposes.
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