Gateway Solidarity Act
STATEMENT OF JOY BEASLEY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, PARTNERSHIPS, AND SCIENCE, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS CONCERNING H.R. 7002, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE GATEWAY ARCH IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, TO BE ILLUMINATED BY BLUE AND YELLOW LIGHTS IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE.
April 28, 2022
Chairman Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 7002, a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to authorize the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, to be illuminated by blue and yellow lights in support of Ukraine. H.R. 7002 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to light the Gateway Arch in support of Ukraine for a period of time to be designated by the Secretary.
This Administration stands with the people of Ukraine. Lighting the Gateway Arch in support and solidarity for the people of Ukraine is important to many Americans and to people around the world. To be commemorated in a national park is a high honor, affording a degree of recognition that implies national importance.
The park has not approved any external requests for the commemorative lighting of Gateway Arch unless in support of an act of Congress. Commemorative lighting of the Gateway Arch has occurred only three times: in 2004 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as directed by Public Law 108–348; in 2015 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the park; and in 2020 in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage as part of a nation-wide historic commemoration coordinated by the congressionally-charted Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission. If enacted, the Department stands ready to implement this legislation and looks forward to working with the Committee to clarify the details of the commemorative activity to ensure it is technically feasible.
Chairman Neguse and Ranking Member Fulcher, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.