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Global War on Terror Memorial is one step closer to reality after unanimous approval in Congress

U.S. troops in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda (Wikimedia)
August 09, 2017

A proposal for a Global War on Terror Memorial received Congressional approval last Thursday when the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in favor of planning the creation of the memorial immediately, as opposed to the mandated 10-year wait period after the end of a conflict.

The memorial will pay tribute to the service members who lost their lives fighting during the Global War on Terror.

Supporters of the memorial argued that because the War on Terror is an ongoing conflict that could take many years before an end to the conflict is declared, the memorial should be built immediately so that people can pay tribute to the service members’ service.

In July, Andrew Brennan, founder and executive director of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation, testified before Congress asking it to lift the 10-year waiting period restriction so that a memorial can be built for the thousands of service members who have died during the War on Terror.

“This memorial will be wholly dedicated to our 7,000 brothers and sisters who deployed with us but did not return, and their survivors,” Brennan said. “It is dedicated to the 1 million wounded warriors who are reclaiming their lives back here at home.”

“We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our [Global War on Terror] veterans, a place for families to gather to honor their loved ones and for future generations of Americans to learn about a war they will likely grow up alongside of,” Brennan added.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the memorial legislation into law later this year.

The bill does not provide any money for the project, so the memorial planning will have to go through a long process that includes fundraising, choosing the site, selecting a design and constructing the memorial.

Brennan said he hopes that the memorial will be finished by 2024.

House bill sponsor and Marine Iraq veteran Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin, said last week that he hopes this memorial will remind others of the sacrifice that the service members of the War on Terror made.

“I hope we can find a way to capture the spirit of these wars, how unique they are,” he said. “You’re doing something that you hope will last forever.”