Authorize Commemorative Work to Honor Inauguration of First Black U.S. President
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In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, and public statements made by Donald J. Trump in the wake of these events, we urge you to authorize, by act of Congress, a commemorative work on the National Mall (Area I, Map Number 869/86501, National Park Service) to mark the preeminent historical and lasting significance to the Nation of Barack Obama's Inauguration.
The Commemorative Works Act of 1986 (CWA) gives Congress the power to authorize commemorative works in the Nation's Capitol.
This morning, @realDonaldTrump tweeted the following in response to the planned removal of Confederate Monuments in Charlottesville: "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!"
We are appalled that a man of his office would use the adjective "beautiful" to describe monuments to the Confederacy; however, his enthusiastic statement of support for the value of preserving the history and culture of our great country inherently implies that a commemorative work to honor the presidency of our Nation's first black President would be as valuable. In fact, we think that to NOT honor this event would be, in his words, so foolish.
Section 6.(b)(2) of the CWA prohibits monuments to individuals until at least 25 years after the death of that individual. For that reason we propose that the authorization should apply to a work that commemorates the event of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, the first black man in the Nation's entire history to hold the office.
The events in Charlottesville and the events planned for this weekend in cities across the country show that there is an urgent need for the Nation to resoundingly re-affirm our common belief that we are one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL. We cannot endure the requisite waiting period in order to honor Barack Obama the man. We must act now to memorialize the preeminent historical and lasting significance to the Nation of his Inauguration. It is imperative.
God bless this Nation.
Jon J. Reidy
August 17, 2017
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