Monday, September 17, 2007

A Letter from The American Insitute for Conservation

The American Institute for Conservation is an organization I belong to that focuses on the preservation of our cultural heritage, such as art or monuments.

AIC has learned that officials at Arlington National Cemetery plan to replace the original Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a new replica solely due to two nonstructural cracks. These slight imperfections pose no threat to visitors or the historic structure. This 1932 monument is nationally significant and eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The proposed replica will be carved from new stone that experts agree will likely crack again along its grain, just as marble does naturally when exposed to the elements. Repair and proper care of the Tomb is possible.

The decision about replacing the Tomb Monument is expected by September 30th.
We need your help to influence decision-makers to help save the memorial. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has set up an automated email system that you can use to contact John Metzler, Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, to let him know about your concerns. You can access this system at the link below. This should only take a few minutes of your time.

Also, consider writing an email or letter against replacing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to your members of Congress. This link is to an online Congressional Directory that will quickly give you the emails and addresses of your congressional representatives.

Remember, since the decision will be made by the end of the month, it is important to act as soon as possible. Often, congressional staff counts the number of emails or letters coming in for or against a topic rather than fully reading them. So a quick and timely email can make a difference.


Ruth Seyler
Membership & Marketing Director