WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, expressed his gratification that the Akaka-Webb amendment relating to the Tomb of the Unknowns is in the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Senator Akaka was a Senate conferee for the Defense Bill, as well as the author of the amendment to require a report on the plans of the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to replace the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
"Like the Liberty Bell and the Star-Spangled Banner, the Tomb of the Unknowns is a national treasure that has been weathered by time," said Senator Akaka. The Senator continued, "I commend my colleagues on the Conference Committee for supporting this amendment, and urge an affirmative vote to send the National Defense Authorization Act to the President."
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. The tomb is currently showing signs of wear and tear, including visible cracks. The amendment will require the Secretaries to report to Congress on efforts to repair the tomb, before any further action is taken.