The Senate unanimously authorized the creation of a Global War On Terror Memorial for Washington, D.C., Thursday to honor the men and women who served in a conflict that has not yet ended.
The legislation, sponsored by Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, does not provide any money for the memorial, but authorizes the Global War On Terror Memorial Foundation to begin fundraising and planning.
“This memorial will be wholly dedicated to our 7,000 brothers and sisters who deployed with us but did not return, and their survivors,” Andrew Brennan founder and executive director of the foundation, told Military Times. (RELATED: Some Veterans Want A Memorial For War That Isn’t Over Yet)
“We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our GWOT veterans, a place for families to gather together to honor their loved ones, and for future generations of Americans to learn about a war they will likely grow up alongside of,” Brennan said.
The legislation exempts the foundation from current laws that prohibit use of federal land for memorials until at least 10 years have passed since the “officially designated end of conflict.”
The was bill introduced in the House and passed by voice vote July 28, and will now go to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.
“During my service in the Marine Corps I served alongside countless brave men and women, some of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terrorism,” said Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, a sponsor of the House legislation. “This piece of legislation honors their service and memorializes their legacy for future generations.”
Congress tried to authorize the war on terror memorial last year when former Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke, now secretary of the interior, proposed a similar bill in September during the last Congressional session. That bill never made it out of committee.
Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iraq War veteran and a sponsor of the companion bill on the Senate side, said the vote Thursday is “another step closer toward honoring the brave men and women, and their loved ones, who have sacrificed so much in the defense of our nation.”
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