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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressman Cleaver passes historic World War I Memorial Amendment

May 21, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Moments ago, the House of Representatives passed unanimously by voice vote Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, designating the Liberty Memorial of Kansas City at America’s National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as the “National World War I Museum and Memorial.” Additionally, this amendment redesignates Pershing Park, located along Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia, as the “National World War I Memorial.”

“Nearly five million American soldiers served overseas during the war, yet no national memorial currently exists to honor the brave veterans of World War I,” stated Congressman Cleaver. “This amendment gives Kansas City the distinction of leading the nation in marking the centennial anniversary, honoring the great sacrifices made, and lessons learned, during World War I.”

The 112th Congress, through Public Law 112-272, established the nonprofit World War I Centennial Commission to plan, develop, and execute programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I. Today’s amendment authorizes the Commission to enhance Pershing Park through appropriate sculptural and other commemorative elements, including landscaping, with privately raised funds. In addition, ex-officio members from relevant government agencies will join the Commission to provide in kind support.

July 28th of this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and the day Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. On April 6th, 1917, the United States entered the war by declaring against Germany. Frank Buckles, the last American veteran from the war, died in February of 2011. He was the last direct American link to the "war to end all wars."

This bi-partisan amendment was co-sponsored by area officials, including Congressman Sam Graves, Congressman Kevin Yoder, and Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler, among others.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee and also serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.