U.S. Congress Members Propose Elie Wiesel Memorial Statue

Three U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council members offer a resolution in praise of Wiesel’s contributions to the American understanding of the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and political activist, receives a standing ovation during a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015.
Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg

Several U.S. congressmen introduced resolutions to honor the life and work of Elie Wiesel, including a proposal to create a memorial statue to be placed in the U.S. Capitol building.

Three members of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council — Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Patrick Meehan, D-Pa., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla. — offered a resolution Friday in praise of Wiesel’s contributions to the American understanding of the Holocaust.

On the same day, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., proposed a bill for the statue to memorialize the activist and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner because his “moral leadership served as a beacon across our country and around the globe,” Cohen was quoted as saying in a release.

His bill as of Monday had 14 cosigners, both Democrats and Republicans.

“Elie Wiesel was one of the greatest examples of good the world has ever seen,” Steve Israel said of Wiesel, who died July 2. “He educated the world about the atrocities of the Holocaust, taught us the true meaning of ‘never again,’ and devoted his entire life to ridding the world of hate and intolerance. I am proud to introduce this resolution to honor Mr. Wiesel’s life and acknowledge the indelible mark he has made on the Jewish community and the entire world.”

“Elie Wiesel was a giant,” Meehan said. “His writings brought the truth about the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald to the rest of the world and for decades he was a tremendous messenger for peace.”

Wiesel had been awarded numerous honors from the United States, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, the National Humanities Medal and the Medal of Liberty.