Cramer: House Votes to Advance Construction of Native American Veterans Memorial
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the House of Representatives passed a bill advancing the construction of a memorial to Native American veterans on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The Native American Veterans’ Memorial was authorized by Congress in 1994 but has yet to be constructed due to current space and funding constraints.
The Native American Veterans' Memorial Amendments Act of 2013, cosponsored by Cramer, amends the original authorization to accommodate a proper-sized memorial by allowing it to be placed on the property of the Museum instead of within the building itself. It also creates shared responsibility between the Museum and the National Congress of American Indians for collecting contributions, paying expenses, and selecting a design for the Memorial. Under current law, the National Congress of American Indians has all responsibility for fundraising and design.
“Our native citizens demonstrate an exemplary patriotism by enlisting in the military in great numbers. They carry out this patriotism with an incredible pride, participating with their own honor and color guards at veterans events throughout North Dakota,” said Congressman Cramer. “This Memorial is an appropriate and important recognition of their sacrifice, service, and unique contribution to our society, especially given the history of our country’s birth.
“Per capita, native people serve in the U.S. military at a rate greater than any other race or ethnicity. That is due in large part to our strong tradition of honoring and respecting those who serve, as well as our deep desire to protect our land, people, and way of life,” said Mark Fox, a Tribal Administrator for the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and a Marine Veteran.
Prior to his time in Congress, Cramer served as Chairman of the Roughrider Honor Flight Committee. Hundreds of North Dakota World War II veterans were flown to Washington, D.C. at no personal expense to experience the memorials built in their honor. Cramer currently serves on the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs within the House Natural Resources Committee.