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.
STATEMENT OFSTEPHEN E. WHITESELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS, COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING H.R. 320, TO DESIGNATE A DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS NATIONAL MEMORIAL AT THE MARCH FIELD AIR MUSEUM IN RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA.
MAY 4, 2011
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee to present the views of the Department of the Interior on H.R. 320, a bill to designate a Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial at the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California.
The Department would defer to the Department of Defense for a position on H.R. 320 since the purpose of the legislation is to further honor military personnel who have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross at a site that is not under the jurisdiction of the Department.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight." We applaud the effort of the March Field Air Museum to create a suitable memorial to the honor, bravery, and sacrifice of members of our Armed Forces who have earned this medal.
This legislation explicitly states that this memorial is not a unit of the National Park System. As this language makes clear, the use of the title "national memorial" creates a reasonable expectation among the general public that it must have an affiliation with the National Park Service, which currently administers 27 national memorials across the country. This is not the first time this issue has arisen, nor is it likely to be the last, and the Department respectfully encourages only the most thoughtful and judicious designation of any future "national" memorials or other similar sites.
That concludes my testimony Mr. Chairman. I would be pleased to respond to any questions from you and members of the committee.