Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Bob Dole Honored For Support of Veterans, World War II Memorial
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today honored former Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole for his longtime support for veterans and instrumental role in establishing the World War II Memorial. In a ceremony on the national mall, Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary Salazar and a host of Dole's friends and family, dedicated a plaque in his honor that will be placed on the World War II Memorial.
“Bob Dole's valor on the battlefield in the mountains of Italy was no different than the moral courage in his public life,” said Vice President Biden. “I learned from Bob Dole, going all the way back to 1972, that, although we have multiple obligations as a nation, we have only one truly sacred obligation. That is to prepare and equip those we send into battle with everything they need, and to care for these warriors and their families when they return.”
“Bob Dole has given much to our country, both on the battlefield and in public office, where his work on behalf of our nation's veterans is unparalleled,” Secretary Salazar said. “Today, we dedicate a plaque in his honor at the very memorial that he was so instrumental in creating. From now on, visitors to this hallowed site will be reminded of the contributions of a truly great American.”
"I'm truly honored to receive this recognition,” said Senator Dole. “But in reality today I represent all veterans, particularly my generation of World War II veterans who preserved liberty and freedom for us and for millions of others around the world.”
Joining the Bidens and Salazar at the ceremony were U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Former Senator Elizabeth Dole, Former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Tom Brokaw, who emceed the event.
The bronze plaque is 14” wide and 10” high and will be placed on a main access path to the World War II Memorial, near the visitor contact station.
Senator Dole, the longest serving Republican leader in the nation's history, served as chairman of the national campaign that raised private contributions that largely funded the construction of the World War II Memorial.
During the Second World War, Bob Dole was a platoon leader in the legendary Tenth Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945, he was gravely wounded on the battlefield and was decorated for heroic achievement, receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster.
The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. Flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west, the World War II memorial was first opened to the public on April 29, 2004.
For more information about visiting the memorial, please visit the National Park Service Web site at http://www.nps.gov/nwwm.