District Leaders Oppose WWI Memorial Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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District Leaders Oppose WWI Memorial Bill

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The D.C. War Memorial was dedicated in 1931 to D.C. residents who died in WWI. The National Park Service recently allocated $7.3 million of stimulus funds to restore the monument, and now Congress is considering turning it into a national momument for the Great War.
Rebecca Sheir
  The D.C. War Memorial was dedicated in 1931 to D.C. residents who died in WWI. The National Park Service recently allocated $7.3 million of stimulus funds to restore the monument, and now Congress is considering turning it into a national momument for the Great War.

Leaders in the District are pushing back on a plan in Congress to take over the D.C. World War I Memorial and turn it into a national site.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) says it would be wrong to, in her words, "commandeer" the city's World War I memorial. Built in 1931 on the National Mall and paid for by District residents, the memorial commemorates the 26,000 Washingtonians who fought in World War I. It is engraved with the names of 499 residents who died while serving.  

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) is proposing to rededicate the memorial as the District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial. The legislation says work would be done on the site to reflect the memorial's new national character. 

Norton says she doesn't oppose a national memorial, but she says taking over the District's isn t fair to city residents who, as she puts it, paid for the memorial with their own blood and treasure.

The Mall is home to national memorials commemorating World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, but not World War I.   

Congress passed a law in 2003 essentially banning the construction of new memorials on the Mall, which is why supporters of the proposal are looking at rededicating D.C.'s. 

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