President Trump has signed a bill authorizing the construction of a new memorial on the National Mall commemorating U.S. service members who fought in the international war against terrorism.
Mr. Trump announced his signing of the Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act through his official Twitter account Friday evening, paving the way for the monument’s sponsors to ramp-up work on erecting one of the nation’s capital’s newest memorials.
The Global War on Terrorism, also known as the GWOT and the War on Terror, refers to the international military campaign initiated by President George W. Bush in reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including ongoing operations against targets including the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Islamic State.
Federal legislation prohibits erecting war memorials on the National Mall in D.C. until 10 years after a conflict has concluded, but lawmakers in the House and Senate unanimously voted to grant an exception offered by a group of War on Terror veterans in Congress including Rep. Mike Gallagher, Wisconsin Republican, Rep. Seth Moulton, Massachusetts Democrat and Senator Joni Ernst, Iowa Republican.
The bill doesn’t authorize the federal government to build the monument, but instead tasks the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation with designing and funding the project.
“Today’s historic signing is dedicated to our 3 million brothers and sisters who have deployed in the Global War on Terror, especially to the ones we have lost, and those who face great obstacles since their return home,” Andrew J. Brennan, the foundation’s founder and executive director, said in a statement.
“We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our veterans and their families and want to thank our partners and advocates who worked tirelessly on Capitol Hill to pass this bipartisan legislation,” he added.
Completion of the project is expected to take between five and seven years, Mr. Brennan said previously.
Mr. Gallagher — an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to joining Congress — said previously that that a Global War on Terrorism monument was needed to honor the more than 6,800 service members and counting who have lost their lives since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“Like most people, I struggle with how to truly honor the men and women whose sacrifices far exceed my own. My hope is this memorial will serve as a call to action to work together and get things done,” he said previously.