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The existing memorial is north of the King memorial in West Potomac Park, tucked into a clearing about halfway between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

The National Park Service and city officials celebrated the reopening of the memorial in November after a yearlong, $2.3 million project to refurbish the domed, round, columned structure and conduct much-needed landscaping around the site.

Retired Navy Cmdr. Kerwin E. Miller, chairman of Mrs. Norton’s U.S. Service Academy Nomination Board, said he is “truly shocked and personally offended” by moves to nationalize the site.

“We’re mad as hell,” he said, “and we’re not going to take it anymore.”