American Battle Monuments Commission.
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) is updating its regulations on overseas memorials in order to reflect actual practice and current statutory requirements.
Effective June 3, 2005.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Thomas Sole, Director of Engineering and Maintenance, American Battle Monuments Commission, Suite 500, 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA, 22201-3367; telephone: (703) 696-6899; FAX: (703) 696-6666.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
ABMC published the proposed regulation in the Federal Register on April 19, 2005 (see 70 FR 20324-20326) for a public comment period. Pursuant to Chapter 21, Title 36 United States Code, the ABMC is generally responsible for overseas memorials and monuments honoring the sacrifices of the American Armed Forces. ABMC's regulations on the performance of this function have not been updated since 1970. Since that time Congress has established within ABMC a Memorial Trust Fund Program the terms of which are codified at 36 U.S.C. 2106(b-e). The purpose of this final regulation is to set forth agency policy implementing 36 U.S.C. 2106(b-e) and to place all agency guidance on overseas memorial responsibilities in one comprehensive document. This part 401 supersedes existing part 401 and rescinds existing parts 402 and 403.
ABMC received one comment on the proposed regulation. That comment asserted that aspects of the evaluation criteria identified in section 401.9 for consideration in approving requests to construct a memorial deserved reconsideration. The commenter suggested that a process for exceptions in light of the unique circumstances that can arise in today's environment would be helpful.
Other than the criteria calling for a ten year waiting period, adequate funding, and host nation approval set forth in sections 401.9(a)-(c), the remaining criteria are not stated as absolute requirements. These other criteria are evaluated on a case by case basis with particular regard to the unique circumstances of each request. ABMC identified the ten year minimum waiting period requirement because this time period was established by Congress for approval of such memorials in the District of Columbia and its environs through the Commemorative Works Act as an appropriate period of time and there was no apparent reason to establish a different time frame for overseas memorials (see 40 U.S.C. section 8903(b)).
III. Final Regulation as AdoptedStart List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 36 CFR Parts 401, 402, and 403End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, American Battle Monuments Commission amends 36 CFR Chapter IV as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
1. Part 401 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 401—MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS
- Applicability and scope.
- Control and supervision of materials, design, and building.
- Approval by National Commission of Fine Arts.
- Cooperation with other than government entities.
- Requirement for Commission approval.
- Evaluation criteria.
- Monument Trust Fund Program.
- Demolition criteria.
This part provides guidance on the execution of the responsibilities given by Congress to the American Battle Monuments Commission (Commission) regarding memorials and monuments commemorating the service of American Armed Forces at locations outside the United States.
This part applies to all agencies of the United States Government, State and local governments of the United States and all American citizens, and private and public American organizations that have established or plan to establish any permanent memorial commemorating the service of American Armed Forces at a location outside the United States. This chapter does not address temporary monuments, plaques and other elements that deployed American Armed Forces wish to erect at a facility occupied by them outside the United States. Approval of any such temporary monument, plaque or other element is a matter to be determined by the concerned component of the Department of Defense consistent with host nation law and any other constraints applicable to the presence of American Armed Forces at the overseas location.
Following World War I many American individuals, organizations and governmental entities sought to create memorials in Europe commemorating the service of American Armed Forces that participated in that war. Frequently such well-intended efforts were undertaken without adequate regard for many issues including host nation approvals, design adequacy, and funding for perpetual maintenance. As a result, in 1923 Congress created the American Battle Monuments Commission to generally oversee all memorials created by Americans or American entities to commemorate the service of American Armed Forces at locations outside the United States.
The Commission is responsible for building and maintaining appropriate memorials commemorating the service of American Armed Forces at any place outside the United States where Armed Forces have served since April 6, 1917.
The Commission controls the design and prescribes regulations for the building of all memorial monuments and buildings commemorating the service of American Armed Forces that are built in a foreign country or political division of the foreign country that authorizes the Commission to carry out those duties and powers.
A design for a memorial to be constructed at the expense of the United States Government must be approved by the National Commission of Fine Arts before the Commission can accept it.
The Commission has the discretion to cooperate with citizens of the United States, States, municipalities, or associations desiring to build war memorials outside the United States.
No administrative agency of the United States Government may give assistance to build a memorial unless the plan for the memorial has been approved by the Commission. In deciding whether to approve a memorial request the Commission will apply the criteria set forth in § 401.9.
Commission consideration of a request to approve a memorial will include, but not be limited to, evaluation of following criteria:
|(a) How long has it been since the events to be honored took place?||Requests made during or immediately after an event are not generally subject to approval. The Commission will not approve a memorial until at least 10 years after the officially designated end of the event. It should be noted that this is the same period of time made applicable to the establishment of memorials in the District of Columbia and its environs by the Commemorative Works Act.|
|(b) How will the perpetual maintenance of the memorial be funded?||Available adequate funding or other specific arrangements addressing perpetual care are a prerequisite to any approval.|
|(c) Has the host nation consented?||Host nation approval is required.|
|(d) Is an overseas site appropriate for the proposed permanent memorial?||In many circumstances a memorial located within the United States will be more appropriate.|
|(e) Is the proposed memorial intended to honor an individual or small unit?||Memorials to elements smaller than a division or comparable unit or to an individual will not be approved unless the services of such unit or individual clearly were of such distinguished character as to warrant a separate memorial.|
|(f) Is the memorial historically accurate?||Representations should be supported by objective authorities.|
|(g) Is the proposed memorial intended to honor an organizational element of the American Armed Forces rather than soldiers from a geographical area of the United States?||As a general rule, memorials should be erected to organizations rather than to troops from a particular locality of the United States.|
|(h) Does the contribution of the element to be honored warrant a separate memorial?||The commemoration should normally be through a memorial that would have the affect of honoring all of the American Armed Forces personnel who participated rather than a select segment of the organizational participants.|
Pursuant to the provisions of 36 U.S.C. 2106(d), the Commission operates a Monument Trust Fund Program (MTFP) in countries where there is a Commission presence. Under the MTFP, the Commission may assume both the sponsor's legal interests in the monument and responsibility for its maintenance. To be accepted in the Monument Trust Fund Program, an organization must develop an acceptable maintenance plan and transfer sufficient monies to the Commission to fully fund the maintenance plan for at least 30 years. to The Commission will put this money into a trust fund of United States Treasury instruments that earn interest. Prior to acceptance into the MTFP, the sponsor must perform any deferred maintenance necessary to bring the monument up to a mutually agreeable standard. At that time, the Commission Start Printed Page 32492may assume the sponsoring organization's interest in the property and responsibility for all maintenance and other decisions concerning the monument. Once accepted into the program, the Commission will provide for all necessary maintenance of the monument and charge the cost to the trust fund. to The sponsoring organization or others interested in the monument may add to the trust fund at any time to insure that adequate funds remain available. to The Commission will maintain the monument for as long a period as the trust fund account permits.
As authorized by the provisions of 36 U.S.C. 2106(e), the Commission may take necessary action to demolish any war memorial built outside the United States by a citizen of the United States, a State, a political subdivision of a State, a governmental authority (except a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government), a foreign agency, or a private association and to dispose of the site of the memorial in a way the Commission decides is proper, if—
(a) The appropriate foreign authorities agree to the demolition; and
(b)(1) The sponsor of the memorial consents to the demolition; or
(2) The memorial has fallen into disrepair and a reasonable effort by the Commission has failed—
(i) To persuade the sponsor to maintain the memorial at a standard acceptable to the Commission; or
(ii) To locate the sponsor.
PART 402—[REMOVED]End Part Start Amendment Part
2. Part 402 is removed.End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 403—[REMOVED]End Part Start Amendment Part
3. Part 403 is removed.End Amendment Part Start Signature
Director, Personnel and Administration.
[FR Doc. 05-11040 Filed 6-2-05; 8:45 am]
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