Carter's Vietnam Vandalism Bill Passes House Unanimously
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Representative John Carter's (TX-31) bill condemning the attacks on the memory of veterans and their service to the United States as demonstrated by the acts of vandalism at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on September 7, 2007.
"This act of vandalism cannot and should not be tolerated," Congressman Carter said. "Passing this resolution reaffirms our respect for our veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. They fought with honor and with principle, and we respect them as our warriors who did their job and should have been treated with honor and respect when they came home."
According to the Washington Post, 14 of the memorial's 140 panels were stained by the unidentified substance which was first reported to police the night of September 7, 2007. The National Park Service is in the process of removing stains slowly in order to avoid further damage to the memorial.
The black granite wall holds the names of 58,256 casualties and MIA's during the Vietnam War and is one of the most frequently visited memorials in Washington, D.C.
"While we may never know who committed this cowardly and shameful act, it is important that the House of Representative stand up and speak on behalf of the living and deceased Service Members and their families whose actions are memorialized on The Wall," Carter said.
The bill comes on the same day that Carter called on Speaker Pelosi to appoint conferees to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The House passed the funding bill on June 15, 2007, and the Senate passed its version and named their conferees on September 6. House Republican leaders have appointed conferees to the bill, including Carter, but Speaker Pelosi has yet to follow suit.
"I am happy the House has recognized the need to reaffirm our respect and gratitude to our veterans by passing this bill," Carter continued. "I agree with Chairman Filner's comments that we need to go one step further and get our military families and veterans the funds they need and deserve, and I trust he will encourage the Democratic leadership to move on this bill. Holding these funds hostage is disrespectful to our soldiers. How much longer should our troops and veterans have to wait?"
Carter's bill passed the House unanimously by a vote of 418-0.