The National Trust for Historic Preservation is grateful to Senator Jim Webb and Senator Daniel K. Akaka for their continued strong support for preservation of the authentic Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
We are pleased to report that on September 16, 2008, Senator Akaka, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued a statement regarding the recent report by the Department of the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs entitled Report on Alternative Measures to Address Cracks in the Monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
In his statement, Senator Akaka observed: “While I understand the concerns about the cracks in the Tomb Monument, I along with many others believe that our national monuments are not diminished by signs of their age. Many of our most treasured American symbols, from the Liberty Bell to the Star-Spangled Banner, are physically worn and weathered. This does not diminish their value or significance. I would argue that the same is true for the Tomb of the Unknowns.”
Although Senator Akaka acknowledged that some may call for replacement of the historic monument in the future, he also stated: “It is our nation's tradition to preserve our historic national symbols. We must protect them from the notion that they can be easily discarded or replaced. … I urge the [Department of the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs], in their respective capacities, to pursue the best means of preserving the Tomb Monument for future generations of veterans and Americans.”
Click here for Senator Akaka’s full statement.
-– Robert Nieweg
Robert Nieweg is the director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Southern Field Office.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.