By Patrick Sisson 11 NOV 2016
A tourist exploring the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will encounter monuments commemorating American soldiers who served in some of the 20th century’s most epochal conflicts, such as WWII and the Korean and Vietnam War. The defining U.S. battle of the 21st century, the Global War on Terror, seems poised to have a more difficult road towards memorializing. A new organization seeking to create a monument to honor soldiers from this conflict face a knotty question: when is the right time to memorialize the longest-running war in U.S. history, one that doesn’t seem to have an end date in sight?
The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation believes now is the time to honor those who have served and sacrificed, which includes nearly 3 million veterans and more than 7,000 dead. Like past memorial campaigns, the non-profit, founded by a group of veterans last year, has to meet a series of challenges: obtain congressional designation as the official national non-profit building the memorial, secure federal space on the National Mall, choose and commission a designer, and raise funds.