A bill, sponsored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin that will allow construction of a memorial to Native American veterans on the grounds of the National Museum of th American Indian, was approved today the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House unanimously approved H.R. 2319.
“I have heard from people I represent and from outside our district that the construction of this memorial means a great deal to Native Americans who served this nation and to their families,” Mullin said. “It is important that we properly honor these brave soldiers and tell their stories for generations to come.”
The memorial cannot be paid for with taxpayer funds, so H.R. 2319 allows for the museum to raise money for its construction. The legislation has received overwhelming support from the National Congress of American Indians and the National Museum of the American Indian.
“With the recent presentation of the Congressional gold medals to tribal code talkers, it is an appropriate time for a renewed focus and gratitude toward Native Americans who served America in our war efforts and protected our freedoms,” said S. Joe Crittenden, Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation and a U.S. Navy veteran from the Vietnam War. “We applaud Congress for taking the necessary steps to truly honor our warriors and the sacrifices Native families have made to defend this great country of ours.”
Mullin is one of only two Native Americans in Congress. The other is U.S. Rep. Tom Cole from Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District. Cole also cosponsored H.R. 2319.
“Throughout my life, I have always been proud of my Native American heritage,” stated Cole. “I am very pleased that the legislation brought to the floor by Congressman Mullin will help facilitate construction of a memorial honoring Native Americans who served our country on the battlefield. It is only right to recognize and remember the significant contributions of those Native American warriors who served our country on the battlefield with great skill and bravery, and there is no better place than the National Museum of the American Indian.”