A bill to authorize the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL A. CALDWELL, ACTING ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING S. 172, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR MUSEUM FOUNDATION TO ESTABLISH A COMMEMORATIVE WORK IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ITS ENVIRONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
JUNE 23, 2021
Chairman King, Ranking Member Daines, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 172, a bill to authorize the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia or its environs, and for other purposes.
The Department supports S. 172. The commemorative work would be an appropriate way to honor the valor and values displayed by Medal of Honor recipients, many of whom died in the line of duty.
S. 172 authorizes the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the nation’s capital to honor the extraordinary acts of valor, selfless service, and sacrifice displayed by Medal of Honor recipients. The work would be permitted in Area I or Area II under the Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 89) (Act) but not in the area designated as the “Reserve”, which consists of the National Mall and areas to the north and south of the White House. The bill requires compliance with the Act and prohibits Federal funds from being used to establish the work.
The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military decoration. It is awarded to U.S. service members who distinguished themselves with extraordinary acts of heroism, and whose service and sacrifice far exceeded the call of duty.
During the 116th Congress, a similar bill, H.R. 5173, was introduced by Representative Marc Veasey. The National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (Commission) reviewed that legislation and made recommendations to Congress on the bill language that would bring the bill in alignment with the requirements of the Act. The recommendations were made in accordance with the Act, which states that Congress shall solicit the views of the Commission in considering legislation authorizing commemorative works within the District of Columbia and its environs. S. 172 as introduced reflects the Commission’s recommendations. The Department concurs with the Commission’s views and supports the legislation as introduced.
Chairman King, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.