Kansas lawmakers request Biden allow soldiers' names to be added to monument
(The Center Square) - A group of five Republican lawmakers from Kansas have a request for the Biden administration.
U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D, and Jerry Moran, along with U.S. Representatives Ron Estes, Tracey Mann, and Jake LaTurner sent a letter to President Biden and U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle asking for the immediate approval of project plans submitted by the National Park Service. The project would add 631 names to the First Division Monument. The monument is located on the White House grounds in Washington, D.C., according to a press release from Marshall's office.
“First Division soldiers have always been the first deployed to protect our nation’s interests in conflicts around the world,” the letter said. “We owe it to these brave men and women, who made the ultimate sacrifice, to have their names added to the monument in a timely and efficient manner.”
Built in 1924, the First Division Monument sits on a plaza in President’s Park, west of the White House and south of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) at the corner of 17th Street and State Place, NW.
It has only been updated three times. However, a law passed in 2018 allows it to be updated to add names of First Division soldiers killed in action during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 1st Infantry Division is based in Fort Riley, Kansas. Founded in 1917, it is the oldest and longest continuously serving active duty division in the U.S. Army. Except for the Korean War, it has fought in all American wars since 1917.
The National Park Service maintains the First Division Monument, but approval from the White House and Secret Service is needed for construction crews to access the White House grounds.
The lawmakers want to see the names added and the monument finalized by Memorial Day 2024.
Read the full letter here.