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I have a brief prepared statement which I would like to present to the committee. The purpose of the bill is to authorize the Secretary of the Army, upon application therefor, to furnish an appropriate Government headstone or marker for erection in any private or public cemetery, other than a national cemetery or other cemetery operated by an agency of the Federal Government, to commemorate certain deceased members of the Armed Forces. The Department of the Army on behalf of the Department of Defense has considered the above-mentioned bill and interposes no objection to its enactment if the Congress deems it in the public interest. Following World War I and World War II, precedents were established for memorializing members of the Armed Forces of the United States who died while serving in such forces, and whose remains were not recovered or identified, or were buried at sea, by the inscription of the names and pertinent data of those so memorialized on the wall of a chapel or other appropriate memorial erected by the American Battle Monuments Commission or by the Department of the Army. Authority for memorialization of deceased participants in World War I is contained in the act of March 4, 1923 (42 Stat. 1509), as amended (36 U. S. C. 121 et seq.). The act of July 1, 1948 (62 Stat. 1215; 24 U. S. C. 279a–c), authorizes similar memorialization for all persons who died while serving in the Armed Forces in an overseas theater of operations on or after September 3, 1939, and whose bodies have not been recovered or identified or have been buried at sea. Until the end of World War II, most nonrecoverable cases occurred in combat areas in time of war and the overseas cemeteries provided a suitable place for memorialization of these nonrecoverables. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific offers a suitable place in which to memorialize the missing of the Korean conflict. Until the passage of the act of August 27, 1954 (68 Stat. 880; 24 U. S. C. 279q), as amended by the act of July 3, 1956 (Public Law 651, 84th Cong.; 70 Stat. 489), there was no legislative authority to memorialize those whose remains were not recoverable except those who died overseas during time of war. This statute authorized setting aside, when available, suitable plots in national cemeteries to honor the memory of members of the Armed Forces missing in action or who died or were killed while serving in such forces and whose remains have not been identified or have been buried at sea or have been determined to be nonrecoverable, and permits the erection, at private expense, of appropriate markers in these plots in the national cemeteries in honor of any such member or group of members. The statute does not authorize the expenditure of appropriated funds for the procurement and erection of the markers. Since the end of World War II, the remains of approximately 1,400 decedents who died on active duty outside combat areas have been nonrecoverable. The report of the Department of Defense dated August 13, 1957, to your committee on this bill suggested certain changes so that if passed, it will be more in accord with existing legislation and permit more efficient administrative procedures. If your committee favorably considers the policy of having the Government furnish memorial markers for those who died in the service and whose remains have not been recovered, it is recommended that the proposed legislation attached to the report of the Department of Defense on this bill be substituted for H. R. 4381. Five other bills on the subject of furnishing memorial markers have been introduced during the 85th Congress. Three of these bills, H. R. 9336, H. R. 1230, and H. R. 1203, are under consideration by your committee. The remaining two bills, H. R. 1204, and H. R. 4414, were referred to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The Department of Defense has furnished its views to both committees on these bills. It is estimated that the enactment of this bill would result in an additional cost to the Government of approximately $1 million. The Bureau of the Budget has advised that it is opposed to enactment of the bill. The position of the Bureau of the Budget is based on the fact that adequate memorialization is now provided for members of the Armed Forces who die in combat zones and whose remains are not recovered. The Bureau sees no objection to legislation providing Government headstones for that group for which adequate memorialization is not now provided, namely, members of the Armed Forces who have died outside a combat zone since World War II and whose remains have not been recovered. I appreciated this opportunity of appearing before the committee and shall be happy to answer any questions you have on this bill. Mr. BRooks. You are referring here, Colonel, to a departmental bill. Do you have that? Colonel HATTox. Sir, do you mean the suggested change in word
ing? Šír. Bpooks. Well, you go further than that, do you not? I do not see that now in your statement. Mr. DU CANDER. I have it, sir. Mr. Brooks. Would you read that, Mr. Ducander? Mr. DUCAND EP. The changes as recommended by the Department would strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:
That the Act of July 1, 1958–
the citation goes— is amended
(1) by adding the following sentence after the first sentence of section 1 thereof: “The Secretary of the Army is authorized and directed to furnish, when requested, an appropriate memorial headstone or marker to commemorate any member of the Armed Forces of the United States dying in the service whose remains have not been recovered or identified, or were buried at sea for placement by the applicant in a national cementery or in any private or local cemetery”; (2) by amending section 2 thereof to read as follows: “The Secretary of the Army is authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations with respect to the submission of applications for all Government headstones and markers and other pertinent matters as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.” Mr. BRooks. Now, what would that amendment do and how will it change H. R. 4381? Colonel HATTox. It would provide for coverage for all members of the Armed Forces of the United States who died at any time in such forces and whose remains were not recovered. This particular bill provides for memorialization for those during the World War I period and from April 1939 through 1955.
Mr. BROOKs. And the suggested change would apply to all— Colone HATTox. All that might occur. Mr. BRooks. Now, what would the suggested version of the bill cost the Defense Department? Colonel HATTox. I do not think it would make but very little difference. Our estimate now, for instance, annually, would amount to about $29,000 during peacetime. Mr. BRooks. A total of $1 million, but annually about $29,000. Colonel HATTox. The greater part of the total of $1 million would be because of the large number that were nonrecoverable in World War II and the Korean war. But during peacetime the number would be much smaller. Mr. BRooks. Would this cover peace periods too? Colonel HAttox. Yes, sir. It is proposed that this amendment would cover, for instance, an air crash that might happen tomorrow, in which you did not recover remains. Mr. BRooks. So this would cover not only veterans, but nonveterans too, if they die in service? Colonel HATTox. Servicemen. noBrooks. Does the Department favor the suggested version of the bill? Colonel HATTox. The Department of the Army does; yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. But it does not favor H. R. 4381? Colonel HAttox. It just broadens H. R. 4381. Mr. BRAY. Does it not do more than that, Colonel? Do not the suggested amendments there limit it to those who did not die in the theater? They figure if they died in the theater, there are cemeteries there and there are memorials erected to them there. It is going to eliminate the the suggested amendment will eliminate a great part of those, as I understand it. Colonel HATTox. No, sir; it would not eliminate those that have been memorialized in the overseas theaters. Mr. PRICE. You say it does not eliminate those? Colonel HATTox. It does not. Mr. BRooks. You would then have duplications. Colonel HATTox. It says any member of the Armed Forces. Mr. Brooks. You would then have duplications. Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. You would have them memorialized in overseas theaters and in the private cemeteries or national cemeteries here in the United States. Mr. PRICE. Yes, but that is the point of the bill. The families may want a memorial in the local cemeteries. Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. PRICE. That is the point of it? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. And they might want it in private cemeteries? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir; they may. Mr. BRooks. Now, what type of marker or identification or memorial would this be? Colonel HATTox. We would propose a regular Government type of §. using the words “In Memoriam” and the person's name and tate. Mr. BRooks. You would put a grave there—you would put a stone at the head of what otherwise would be symbolic of a grave? 20066–58—No. 88—2
Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. We have plots set aside now in national cemeteries for those who care to do so at their own expense, to place a memorial there.
Mr. BRooks. I do not think they ought to be required to pay for something in a national cemetery, for memorializing a man who gave his life to the country.
Colonel HATTox. Well, that is another feature of this bill.
Mr. BRooks. That is being required now?
Colonel HATTox. Under present legislation, we have no authority to furnish a Government headstone.
Mr. BRooks. You set aside a plot and then require the family to pay for the headstone?
Colonel HATTox. They may do so.
Mr. BRooks. For a man who gave his life to this country?
Colonel HATTox. That is under present legislation.
Mr. PRICE. I understand the Bureau of the Budget opposes this
l. Colonel HATTox. That portion of it which would duplicate the memorialization which has already been placed in chapels or walls in the overseas theater. Mr. WAN ZANDT. Colonel, what you mean is this: Let's taken Chateau-Thierry in France. You have a monument there memorializing all those who gave their lives in the Battle of Chateau-Thierry. Colonel HATTox. That is correct, sir. Mr. WAN ZANDT. Now, along comes a family of one of the men whose remains are somewhere in that area and they would like to have a memorial to place in a national cemetery, or under the provisions of this bill in a local cemetery? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. VAN ZANDT. And they want the Government to pay for that? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir; that is correct. Mr. VAN ZANDT. So it is a dual memorial. First the one at Chateau-Thierry that memorializes everyone and second this individual which will be placed in the local cemetery. Mr. PRICE. We have to remember, though—of course, these are for unrecovered bodies. They are identified—the parts have been identified, but they are unrecovered bodies. Mr. BRooks. Colonel, I want to ask you: Suppose this were a private cemetery at home. Their regulations forbid you to use the standard national cemetery headstones. What about that? Colonel HATTox. We have several different types of stones, sir. Some of them require flat markers. We furnish those. Some of them will only allow bronze markers. We furnish those also. Mr. PRICE. You have a bronze marker? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir; we do have it. Mr. PRICE. That will take care of it. Mr. BRooks. The different types you now have will conform to the regulations in more or less all of the private cemeteries, is that right? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. So that no family will be denied the right to have a memorial or a marker of a symbolic grave of a man whose body was lost, by virtue of local regulations? Colonel HATTox. I know of none, sir. We furnish to all private cemeteries.
Mr. WAN ZANDT. Mr. Chairman. Mr. BRooks. Yes, sir. Mr. WAN ZANDT. Colonel, is it possible under existing law for the Government to make available to the family the cost of the Government marker if the family wishes to buy one themselves? Mr. DUCANDER. No. Colonel HATTox. No, sir; we have no provision for that. Mr. DUCANDER. There is legislation pending on that, Mr. Van Zandt. Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. Brooks. There is no provision at all to pay for a stone of this sort now? Colonel HATTox. No, sir. Mr. BRooks. But if the body had been recovered there would be provision to pay for the stone? Colonel HATTox. That is correct, sir. Mr. Brooks. It would seem to me because the man gave his life for his country and the type of death was such that his body was not recovered, why we deny him the right to be properly memorialized in private and national cemeteries, is that not it? Colonel HATTox. Except for the overseas. Mrs. St. GEORGE. Mr. Chairman, they are memorialized in all the cemeteries where battles occurred. h Mr. PRICE. But they are memorialized thousands of miles from Orne. Mrs. St. GEORGE. Well, that is right. But in some instances they are memorialized here in national cemeteries, are they not? Mr. Brooks. If the family pays for the headstone. Colonel HATTox. That is correct. Mr. BRooks. That is what is wrong about it. Now, let me ask you this: Overseas are the men individually memorialized? Are there plots set aside and headstones put in or what? Colonel HATTox. No, sir. Their names and their States and their units, or unit designation, is placed either in a chapel or on a memorial wall in a cemeterv. Mr. BRooks. That is the individual name? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. Does it give the State? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. Brooks. And the full name? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. And the serial number? Colonel HATTox. Yes, sir. Mr. BRooks. And the rank? Colonel HATTox. And the organization. Mr. BRooks. And the unit? Colonel HATTox. And the unit, yes, sir. Mr. B Rooks. And the place he was killed? Colonel HATTox. No, sir; we cannot always give that. Mr. B Rooks. You give his birth? Colonel HATTox. If that is available, I believe so, sir. That is under the American Battle Monuments Commission and I personally have not seen anything except pictures of them.