“The commitment to restoring the authentic monument is consistent with the best of American traditions: we do not discard our national treasures”
- Senator Daniel Akaka
Thanks in no small part to Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetary will remain an authentic memorial to those who lost their lives in battle.
After the Army Corps announced plans to replace the monument with a replica, Akaka and Webb championed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 which required a study of options for the aging structure.
In September of 2008, the report required by the Akaka/Webb amendment outlined several possible means of repairing and preserving, rather than replacing, the now-weathered monument at the tomb. Following the report, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Arlington National Cemetary committed to restoring the monument rather than completely replacing it.
“The commitment to restoring the authentic monument is consistent with the best of American traditions: we do not discard our national treasures,” said Senator Akaka. “I applaud the Army and Arlington National Cemetery for making the right decision, and thank my friend Jim Webb for his work on this issue.”
“I am pleased the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to repair rather than replace the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery,” said Senator Webb. “This decision ensures that the historical integrity of this unique memorial will be preserved for future generations of Americans who visit the tomb to honor our men and women in uniform who gave their lives for our nation.”
According to an announcement from Senator Akaka's office, "The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is a monument to honor those who do not return from battle. It is a tangible tribute to their service, as well as a place for their families and others to contemplate their absence."
For more information on the restoration plans, click here for a release issued by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.