WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, reacted today to a joint report from the Departments of the Army and Veterans Affairs on alternatives to replacing the Tomb Monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The report was required under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, due to an amendment co-sponsored by Akaka and Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). Among other findings, the report outlines several possible means of repairing and preserving, rather than replacing, the now-weathered monument at the tomb.
"Many of our most treasured American symbols, from the Liberty Bell to the original Star-Spangled Banner, are physically worn and weathered by time. This does not diminish their value or significance. I am pleased that the Departments of Army and Veterans Affairs have determined a number ways to repair this national treasure, rather than replacing it with a replica. I urge them to pursue the best means of preserving the Tomb for future generations Americans," said Akaka.
Senator Akaka's full statement from the Congressional Record is available by clicking here.
The Tomb of the Unknowns, located at Arlington National Cemetery, is a monument to honor those servicemembers who do not return from battle. It stands as a tangible tribute to their service, as well as a place for their families and others to contemplate their absence. The Tomb Monument sits above the tombs for the unknowns from World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict. Over time, the Tomb Monument has aged to show signs of natural wear, including developing a number of cracks.