WASHINGTON — Seven thousand U.S. troops have died fighting terrorism, but they may never be memorialized on the National Mall like fallen soldiers of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Pittsburgh veteran Andrew Brennan is leading an effort to make sure his fallen comrades get a memorial to their service and that survivors of the war on terrorism get a tribute of their own on the National Mall, a place to gather with fellow veterans of the war on terror.
First, he has to persuade Congress to overturn the 1986 Commemorative Works Act, which requires a war to be over for 10 years before a memorial can be built.
The reason: The global war on terror is being fought on multiple fronts around the world and may never end.
“Unless we change the law, my generation of warriors is not going to be able to experience what the Vietnam generation has. I want my generation to experience that group healing that the Vietnam-era veterans have seen,” said Mr. Brennan, 31, a West Point graduate who flew Black Hawk helicopters over Afghanistan as an Army captain.
He got the idea for the memorial two years ago during a visit to New Mexico when he saw the camaraderie of a group of Vietnam veterans making their way across the country as part of Rolling Thunder, an annual cross-country motorcycle caravan that ends at the war memorials in Washington, D.C., every Memorial Day.