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In their own words: Vets in Congress push for GWOT memorial

31 July 2017

By Leo Shane III

Before the House last Friday unanimously passed legislation to start the process of building a Global War on Terrorism memorial, a line of young war veterans took to the chamber floor to offer an emotional view of the importance of the work.

Bill sponsor Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., a Marine Corps officer who served in Iraq, said he was somewhat surprised by the heartfelt testimony, despite numerous conversations with colleagues about the strong feelings among veterans about the memorial.

The measure would allow the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, an independent non-profit, to begin what is expected to be a decade-long effort to fund, plan and build a memorial on the National Mall dedicated to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Senate still must approve the measure before it becomes law. But lawmakers are hopeful the personal stories of loss and sacrifice they shared last week can fast-track the legislation.

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