Congress Clears Path for Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Bipartisan legislation cosponsored by GWOT veterans exempts memorial from Commemorative Works Act, appoints Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation to lead project
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On its last day before breaking for August recess, the Senate unanimously passed the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act, clearing the final legislative hurdle for the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation’s (GWOTMF) mission, with full confidence it will get President Trump’s signature.
The Senate Bill, S. 926 matches the previously passed House one which will make an exception for the Global War on Terrorism memorial from the Commemorative Works Act of 1986, requiring Congress to wait 10 years after the official end of a military conflict before considering a war memorial to be built in the nation’s capital. The bill also authorizes GWOTMF to oversee the fundraising, design, and construction of the memorial, and does not earmark any federal funds for it.
“This memorial will be wholly dedicated to our 7,000 brothers and sisters who deployed with us, but did not return and their survivors. It is dedicated to the 1 million wounded warriors who are reclaiming their lives back here at home. It is for the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines who struggle in their transition from combat deployments,” said Andrew J. Brennan, GWOTMF founder and executive director. “We applaud the bipartisan cooperation of our Congress to lift the red tape on this memorial, recognizing that we cannot afford to waste time on ensuring a timely memorial for the 3 million fighting men and women who have deployed in our nation’s longest war. We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our GWOT veterans, a place for families to gather together to honor their loved ones, and for future generations of Americans to learn about a war they will likely grow up alongside of.”
Once the bill reaches President Trump’s desk for his anticipated signature, the foundation will work closely with the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission to secure federal approval for acreage on the National Mall and coordinate a national competition for the memorial’s design.
H.R. 873 and its Senate companion bill S. 926 were introduced by GWOT veterans, Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) in the House and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with Senator Joe Manchin, co-chair of the Senate Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus. The bill was formally endorsed in March by a national coalition of 16 veteran service organizations including: VFW; Got Your 6; IAVA; Travis Manion Foundation; Wounded Warrior Project; Team Rubicon; The Mission Continues; Green Beret Foundation; AmVets; Union Veteran Council; TAPS; Student Veterans of America; The Veterans Group; American Gold Star Mothers; Warrior Expeditions; and Team Red White & Blue.
This was the second attempt by GWOTMF to pass an exemption through Congress for the Commemorative Works Act of 1986. During last year’s Congressional session, then-Congressman Ryan Zinke originally cosponsored a bill in the House and has since written a letter of support of the legislation to Congress in his role as Secretary of the Interior.
About the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation
The mission of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation is to provide the organizing, fundraising and coordinating efforts to build a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor our fallen warriors, U.S. servicemembers, their families and all those who supported our nation’s longest war. The objective is to create a tangible symbol of the sacrifices made by fallen U.S. service members and their families in support of the Global War on Terror. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3 million Americans have deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Of those servicemembers, close to 7,000 have been killed, with 1 million injured and an estimated 20 percent of GWOT veterans returning home grappling with PTSD. Visit www.gwotmf.org for more information and ‘Like Us’ on Facebook to get all the latest updates at www.facebook.com/gwotmf.