Memorials: Creating National, State, and Local Memorials

This report provides information on the mandatory steps to building a memorial on federal property in the District of Columbia. It also provides information on creating memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, within the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System, and in state veterans' cemeteries. In addition, it discusses public and private initiatives at the state and local levels to create memorials including successful local fund-raising efforts.

Order Code RS21080 Updated May 21, 2008 Memorials: Creating National, State, and Local Memorials Zina L. Watkins Information Research Specialists Knowledge Services Group Summary This report provides information on the mandatory steps to building a memorial on federal property in the District of Columbia. It also provides information on creating memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, within the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System, and in state veterans’ cemeteries. In addition, it discusses public and private initiatives at the state and local levels to create memorials including successful local fund-raising efforts. This report will be updated annually. 24 Steps to Erecting a Memorial in Washington, DC1 Listed below are the requisite steps that must be met in order to build a memorial or monument on federal property in the District of Columbia. 1. Memorial sponsor seeks National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC)2 assistance to review the requirements and process established by the Commemorative Works Act of 19863 and its applicability to the proposed memorial.4 1 Information compiled from material received from the Office of Lands, Resources, and Planning, National Capital Region, U.S. National Park Service, August 27, 2007. 2 National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission on Fine Arts, and the National Capital Memorial Commission are the three federal agencies responsible for the location and design of new commemorative works on federal land. Since 1997, the agencies have worked together as the Joint Task Force on Memorials. In their initial report, the Joint Task Force recommended to Congress that the Commemorative Works Act be amended to change the name of the National Capital Memorial Commission to the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. The request was granted in P.L. 99-652. 3 For Commemorative Works Act, see P.L. 99-652. 4 Contact Glen DeMarr, (202) 619-7027 or Nancy Young, (202) 619-7097 at the National Park (continued...) CRS-2 2. Memorial sponsor seeks a Senator or Representative a who is willing to draft and introduce a bill to authorize establishment of the memorial. 3. Staff of NCMAC, Member of Congress who will introduce it, and authorizing committees5 draft a bill that conforms to the provisions of the CWA. 4. Member of Congress introduces bill authorizing the memorial and designating the sponsor as the entity responsible for its erection at no cost to the federal government. 5. The NCAMC considers proposed authorizing legislation to establish its views pursuant to CWA. 6. Chairmen of the Senate and House authorizing Subcommittees on National Parks solicit views of the NCMAC, may hold hearings on proposed authorizing legislation, and take action on a bill before sending it to full House and Senate. 7. Congress passes the bill and the President signs the bill into law, providing memorial sponsor seven years in which to begin construction of memorial in Area II. 8. Memorial sponsor organizes the structure of the entity that will establish the memorial and begins planning. 9. Memorial sponsor may submit to the Secretary of the Interior a request to be authorized to consider sites in Area I. The Secretary seeks the advice of NCMAC to determine whether the memorial warrants placement in Area I. Based on the advice of NCMAC, the Secretary notifies Congress of the determination that the subject is of preeminent and lasting historical significance (CWA Sec. 6(a) so that Congress can consider passage of legislation authorizing an Area I location for enactment by the President. 10. Memorial sponsor works with NPS staff to identify potential Area II sites (may include Area I if authorized) and prepare alternative site study and accompanying preliminary environmental analysis. 11. Memorial sponsor, for sites within Area II, or Area I if authorized, submits alternative site study and accompanying preliminary environmental analysis to NPS for approval of its preferred site and consultation with NCMAC. 12. NPS submits recommended site and environmental document to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for 4 (...continued) Service for additional information. 5 Prior to the 104th Congress, the committees of jurisdiction were the House Committee on House Administration and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. During the 104th Congress, House jurisdiction was transferred to the Committee on Resources. For details, see CRS Report 98-662, Commemorative Legislation: Evolution and Process, by Stephen W. Stathis. CRS-3 approval. NPS initiates Section 106 consultation on its recommendation of the site with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). 13. After site approval by the NCPC and CFA, and in consultation with SHPO, the design process begins in accordance with any approved design guidelines. 14. Memorial sponsor selects a designer or initiates a design competition. 15. Memorial sponsor selects preferred design concept and meets with NPS to discuss issues that design may present. After possible refinements, sponsor submits the design concept and accompanying draft environmental document to the NPS. 16. NPS reviews design concept and, upon concurrence, submits it to NCPC and CFA with appropriate environmental document for approval. 17. Memorial sponsor, in close coordination with NPS, refines the design concept on the basis of NCPC, CFA, and SHPO comments and submits preliminary design to NPS who, upon approval, submits it to NCPC and CFA for approval. 18. Memorial sponsor, in close coordination with the NPS, refines preliminary design on the basis of comments and submits final design to NPS who, upon approval, submits it to NCPC and CFA for approval. 19. Memorial design team completes final drawings and specifications in close coordination with NPS. 20. Memorial sponsor completes fund-raising. 21. Memorial sponsor submits final drawings and specifications, cost estimate, and evidence of funds on hand plus 10% cash payment of design and construction costs for maintenance to NPS. 22. NPS issues a construction permit on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, which constitutes final approval by the Secretary and the start of construction. 23. Memorial sponsor begins construction and preparation of operation, maintenance, and preservation plans for the memorial. 24. Memorial is dedicated and conveyed to the NPS for management with accompanying as-built operation, maintenance, and preservation plans. For additional information on procedures related to the creation of memorials in the District of Columbia, see CRS Report 98-662, Commemorative Legislation: Evolution and Procedures; CRS Report RL31390, Legislative History of the World War II Memorial and World War II Commemorative Legislation; and CRS Report RL32983, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Commemorative Works and Other Honors Authorized by Congress. CRS-4 Memorials at the State and Local Levels The federal government does not provide direct funding for memorials at the local and state levels; furthermore, there is no unified standard process for constructing memorials across the 50 states. These memorials are often established through state legislation, and funded with a combination of state funds and private donations. Usually a nonprofit organization is formed to serve as a planning and fund-raising committee. (For information on how to start a nonprofit organization, see CRS Report 96-264, Frequently Asked Questions About Tax-Exempt Organizations.) Often a competition is held to select the design of the memorial. Funds are raised through a variety of means including private and corporate donations, the sale of commemorative souvenirs, and community activities. Numerous state and local veterans’ memorials have been established by the combined effort of state and local governments, and private nonprofit organizations, some comprised of local veterans’ groups, to honor the memory of local heroes. Nonmilitary memorials are established through the same processes. Memorials in Arlington National Cemetery Memorials erected in Arlington National Cemetery require a joint concurrent resolution by Congress as noted in 32 C.F.R. § 553.22 (l).6 In the past, memorials have been created to honor the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger in June 1986,7 the Space Shuttle Columbia in February 2004, and the victims of the Pan American flight 103 explosion, which took place over Lockerbie, Scotland, in November 1995.8 However, if the plan includes burying remains in a mass grave, then it would not require congressional legislation.9 Memorials in the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System The National Cemetery Administration’s (NCA) Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials is responsible for the building of suitable memorials within a national cemetery administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), by authority of P.L. 93-43 (see Sections 1001, 1002, and 1007 for details). Information on the NCA’s Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials is available at the VA’s website [http://www.cem.va.gov/advisory.htm]. 6 See also Appendix A to Part 553 — Specifications for Tributes in Arlington National Cemetery. 7 Information on the Challenger Memorial is available at [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/ Visitor_information/Space_Shuttle_Challenger.html]. The Challenger exploded just after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 8 Information on the Lockerbie Memorial Cairn at Arlington National Cemetery is available on the Internet at [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/Pan_Am_Memorial.html]. Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, as the result of a terrorist act. 9 Information on group burials at Arlington National Cemetery is available on the Internet at [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/group_burials.html]. Congressional offices seeking additional guidance on creating a memorial should contact the Office of the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, at (703) 695-3175. CRS-5 Memorials in State Veterans’ Cemeteries Many states have established state veterans’ cemeteries. Eligibility is similar to the VA national cemeteries but may include residency requirements. State veterans’ cemeteries may have been established or improved with funds through VA’s State Cemetery Grants Program but are run solely by the states. Cemeteries in each state should be contacted directly regarding the necessary procedures for building a memorial within their cemetery system. Information on individual state cemeteries is available on the Internet at [http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg/lsvc.asp] and on the VA’s State Cemetery Grants Program at [http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg_grants.asp]. Sources of Additional Information Gabor, Andrea. “Even Our Most Loved Monuments Had a Trial by Fire.” Smithsonian, May 1997, pp. 97-98, 100, 102, 104, 106. Kohler, Sue A. Commission on Fine Arts: A Brief History, 1910-1995. Washington: Commission on Fine Arts, 1996. National Capital Planning Commission. The Federal Capital Improvements Program (FCIP) Fiscal Years 2008-2013. Washington: The Commission, 2007. [http://www.ncpc.gov/UserFiles/File/publications/fcip/Adopted%20FCIP%20200 8-13.pdf]. National Capital Planning Commission. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitors Center, Commission Actions. August 3, 2006. [http://www.ncpc.gov/meetings/pg.asp?p=archiveAugust2006]. Reps, John W. Monumental Washington: The Planning and Development of the Capital Center. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967. Smithsonian Institution. Site Announced for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. News Release. January 30, 2006. [http://nmaahc.si.edu/attachments/368/nmaahc_site_013007.pdf]. Selected Addresses and Websites U.S. Government Commission on Fine Arts (CFA) 401 F Street, NW, Suite 312 Washington, DC 20001-2728 Tel: (202) 504-2200; Fax: (202) 504-2195 E-mail: staff@cfa.gov [http://www.cfa.gov] The CFA was established in 1910, by P.L. 61-181, as a permanent entity to advise the government on matters pertaining to the arts including the location of statues, memorials, and fountains erected by the federal government in the nation’s capital. Seven CRS-6 members are appointed by the President to serve a four-year term each on the commission. National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) 401 Ninth Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20576 Tel: (202) 482-7200; Fax: (202) 482-7272 E-mail: info@ncpc.gov [http://www.ncpc.gov/] The NCPC provides overall planning guidance for federal land and buildings in the National Capital Region, which includes the District of Columbia. The Commission seeks to protect and beautify the historical and cultural resources of the District through its planning policies and procedures. National Cemetery Administration (NCA) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20420 Tel: (800) 697-6947 [http://www.cem.va.gov/] The NCA is responsible for the 119 national cemeteries in 39 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites, and for the building of suitable memorials within the VA’s national cemetery system. National Park Service National Capital Region Office of Lands, Resources, & Planning 1100 Ohio Drive, SW Washington, DC 20242 Tel: (202) 619-7097 [http://www.nps.gov/ncro] Under the Commemorative Works Act of 1986, P. L. 99-652, this is the office that coordinates memorial proposals, draft legislation, sites and designs for memorials within the District of Columbia, and major projects by state and local governments on park land. State and Local The following websites provide examples of successful state or local efforts to establish memorials. Baltimore Police Memorial [http://www.baltimorepolicememorial.org] Maine Korean War Memorial [http://www.koreanwar.org/html/memorials/maine_mem.htm] Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial [http://grunt.space.swri.edu/philmem.htm]