A memorial for those U.S. service members who have fought in the Global War on Terror could come to the National Mall in Washington D.C. thanks to the efforts of two veteran lawmakers.
On Monday, Democratic Rep. Jason Crow and Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher introduced a bill to set aside space on the National Mall to recognize those men and women who have served in the military since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. According to the Washington Examiner, the bill was introduced on Veterans Day and the lawmakers are aiming for a quick effort to vote through the memorial bill.
Gallagher served seven years in the Marine Corps, deploying as an intelligence officer to the Anbar province of Iraq and serving on the staff to Gen. David Petraeus. Crow also served in Iraq with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, where he earned the Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Samawah. Crow served two more tours in Afghanistan and fought alongside the 75th Ranger Regiment as it worked to take down the Haqqani Network.
“It’s imperative that we get this done in this Congress because there’s no time to waste, and the global war on terrorism itself is old enough to vote,” Gallagher told the Washington Examiner.
Gallagher said he hopes the 9/11 generation of military service members will see their own memorial alongside those dedicated to the service men and women of other past wars, such as the World War II Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial.
The bill proposes three potential memorial locations. The first potential location would be just east of the Vietnam War memorial. A second potential location would be near the Potomac River. A third potential location would be between the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the D.C. War Memorial.
“The global war on terrorism changed the course of American history and the lives of the millions of service members, first responders, and civil servants who stepped up to serve our country,” Crow said.
Crow said it’s easy to lose sight of the service of the 9/11 generation amid political divisions on Capitol Hill.
“It is our hope that by honoring the service and sacrifices of this generation in our nation’s capital, we give our servicemen and women the honor they are due,” he said.
Gallagher originally proposed the bill alongside Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton, who also served in the Marines.
Sean McFate, who also served in the 82nd Airborne Division, endorsed the memorial decision but said it was difficult to determine an appropriate name for the post-9/11 period of global efforts to defeat terror groups across many different countries.
“What do we call this period? That’s one of the challenges,” McFate told Washington Examiner reporters. “Nonetheless, those who answered the call deserve recognition. There’s nothing more tragic than a ‘forgotten war.'”
Crow and Gallagher are hoping for lawmakers to take up the bill with widespread bipartisan support.