Some of the research on National Memorials presented below is not widely known, but all of it is publicly available.
already commemorates World War I with several more impressive, and secular, national memorials. Surprisingly, over the past several years--the very same time period in which Buono was before the Supreme Court--two have been competing to be the official WWI National Memorial.
While the 111th Congress did not reach closure on which of these two monuments is the most fitting national WWI tribute, in March, 2011, a compromise bill was introduced, proposing to make both of them "National Memorials," and to create a new "World War I Centennial Commission" to spearhead Centennial ceremonies.
(122) Congress similarly has the power to abolish any of the "National Memorials" it has designated.
The essential factor is that the "reasonable observer" must be deemed aware of the other WWI national memorials, their current competition for supremacy, and the general ignorance of the Mojave Cross designation.
Weighing against constitutionality is the appearance of bias: Congress now has designated as National Memorials not one, but two Christian crosses, both in the midst of high-profile, controversial Establishment Clause lawsuits.
Another concern is that the unique circumstances of this type of "speech" renders it more difficult to explain to "viewers" of National Memorials why a Christian cross was given this honor.
This final section considers the process if other, equally historic WWI monuments were rejected as "National Memorials," focusing on two, very credible candidates.
First, the legislative designation process for National Memorials is frequently driven by private speakers who are passionate about a specific commemorative message, and not by any formal or well-considered congressional selection process.
Second, the research suggests that, at least in some instances, Congress exercises little control over the "messages" of its National Memorials. Summum did loosen this "government speech" requirement to "final approval authority." (155) But while a City Council vote to accept a "Ten Commandments" monument reflects some legislative knowledge of the new display's content, (156) this does not seem to be the case for all of Congress's National Memorial designations.
WASHINGTON D.C.--New national memorials will be distributed throughout Washington, D.C., rather than along the National Mall, according to a policy announced this spring.
The new "places of commemoration," as the task force has named them, are expected to change the public's image of national memorials, said Margaret Vanderhye, chairwoman of the task force.