Admiral Lloyd R. `Joe' Vasey Pacific War Commemorative Display Establishment Act
STATEMENT OF P. DANIEL SMITH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, EXERCISING THE AUTHORITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING H.R. 4300 AND S. 2213, BILLS TO AUTHORIZE PACIFIC HISTORIC PARKS TO ESTABLISH A COMMEMORATIVE DISPLAY TO HONOR MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES WHO SERVED IN THE PACIFIC THEATER OF WORLD WAR II, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
February 14, 2018
Chairman Daines, Ranking Member King, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 4300 and S. 2213, bills to authorize Pacific Historic Parks to establish a commemorative display to honor members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and for other purposes.
The Department supports this legislation and recommends a technical amendment. The two bills, which are virtually identical, would allow the organization named Pacific Historic Parks to establish and maintain a commemorative display at the Pearl Harbor site of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. The display would honor the members of the United States Armed Forces and allies who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
The legislation prohibits the use of federal funds to design, procure, prepare, install, and maintain the commemorative display, but allows the National Park Service to accept and expend contributions of non-federal funds and resources for such purposes. It also prohibits the establishment of the commemorative display on National Park Service-managed property until the National Park Service determines that there is an assured source of non-federal funding for the design, procurement, installation, and maintenance of the display.
The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, receives nearly two million visitors each year who come to learn about and to pay their respects to those who gave their lives in the attack on the island of Oahu. The monument interprets not only the events of December 7, 1941, but also the world events leading up to the attack and events that followed, including the many battles across the Pacific Theatre that occurred after the United States entered World War II. The National Park Service believes that the commemorative display authorized in this legislation would be consistent with the mission and interpretive themes explored at the monument.
The Department recommends that the language in Section 4 be clarified to reflect the fact that authority is needed for the Pacific Historic Parks organization to establish a commemorative display on National Park Service-managed property, not for establishing the display itself. We would like to work with the sponsor and the committee on clarifying language.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.