Washington, D.C. – Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Denny Heck (D-WA) today introduced commonsense legislation to authorize a small, but important modification to the Second Division Memorial to recognize and pay tribute to members of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division killed in Korea at the De-Militarized Zone, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. H.R. 5684, the Second Division Memorial Modification Act, would authorize the Second Indianhead Division Association’s Scholarship and Memorials Foundation to place three stone benches at the Washington, D.C. memorial at no cost to the taxpayer.
“As an Army veteran myself and tireless advocate for our military men and women, I see no reason why the Second Division Memorial Modification Act shouldn’t receive the full support of my colleagues,” said Alaska Congressman Don Young. “This is a simple, common sense piece of legislation that honors members of the U.S. Army who gave their lives in defense of this great nation. Although current law forbids this type of addition, I believe Congress has a duty to update and maintain our memorials to reflect the service of our brave men and women, particularly those that made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“As the representative of the district which includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and a distinguished population of American veterans, I support the addition to the 2ID Memorial to continue to honor the hard work and sacrifice of the soldiers of one of the most decorated divisions in the U.S. Army,” said Congressman Denny Heck, who represents the 10th District of Washington state. “I hope Americans and persons around the globe can come and feel the impact that 2ID soldiers have made in conflicts since World War I. They have made a lasting imprint on our history, and this update to the memorial in Washington, DC, will serve as a reminder of the importance of our men and women in uniform and all they’ve given on our behalf.”
Second Division Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Dedicated in 1936, the Second Division Memorial was built to commemorate those who died while serving in the 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during World War I. The memorial was rededicated in 1962, with the addition of two wings, to also honor those killed in World War II and the Korean War. The Second Indianhead Division Association – named in recognition of the 2nd Infantry Division patch – has proposed to modify the memorial to honor members of the 2nd Infantry Division killed in subsequent conflicts by adding three stone benches.
The Second Indianhead Division Association submitted a request to the National Park Service to make this modification, however it was denied pursuant to 40 USC Section 8903(b), which stipulates that “a commemorative work solely commemorating… a unit of an armed force may not be authorized.”
While 40 USC 8903 (b) restricts the creation of new monuments for specific military units in the National Capitol Region, Young and Heck believe the 2nd Indianhead Division Association’s proposal to modify the current monument should be allowed to proceed.