National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015by Representative Debbie Dingell
Posted on 2015-09-16
DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, Public Law 112-239 authorized the establishment of a fund to create the National Liberty Memorial, dedicated to the honor and sacrifice of more than 5,000 enslaved and free Black people who served as sailors, soldiers, or provided civilian assistance during the Revolutionary War. This is a long overdue memorial, which recognizes the early military role Black people played in securing our Nation's freedom.
In June 2014, the General Services Administration identified a location for the memorial at 14th and Independence Avenue, Southwest, here in Washington, D.C. The approved site is on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture campus.
In the interest of eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy through overlapping jurisdiction, H.R. 1949 would make the Department of Agriculture responsible for the consideration of the site and design proposals, doing so on behalf of the Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission. This responsibility would be transferred from the GSA or the Department of the Interior, as it was originally written.
I want to thank my good friend and colleague, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Butterfield of North Carolina, for his years of hard work and leadership in establishing the National Liberty Memorial. We are all looking forward to seeing it open sometime in the future, and it will be a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed so much to create this great Nation of ours.
I ask all of my colleagues to support H.R. 1949, and I reserve the balance of my time.