U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who commanded 150 troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, is leading a bipartisan effort to build a new memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to honor the troops who served during the Global War on Terror.
“As someone who had my boots in the sand in Iraq and Kuwait, I know firsthand the sacrifices the millions of brave men and women of our armed forces made in defense of our nation and our freedom,” said Senator Ernst. “Our nation should forever remember the sacrifices of the Americans who answered the call to wear the uniform—along with their families and loved ones—after our country came under attack. This Global War on Terror memorial on our National Mall would be a longstanding testament and reminder of their selflessness for generations to come.”
“With the national GWOT Memorial, we have the opportunity to reflect, remember, and honor the most diverse fighting force ever to serve our nation,” said GWOT Memorial Foundation President & CEO Marina Jackman. “By locating the GWOT Memorial alongside those honoring veterans of earlier conflicts, we’re showing the men and women who’ve served in our nation’s longest ongoing conflict that their sacrifice is equally valued. This Memorial will provide a permanent place of reflection, empowerment, and healing in the heart of our nation’s capital, and it will serve as a symbol of unity during this time of political division. We are so grateful to Senators Ernst and Hassan for their commitment to all who’ve served in the Global War on Terrorism.”
In 2017, through bipartisan legislation, Ernst helped create the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, a private foundation, to begin the process of pursuing the construction of a memorial. The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act, introduced today by Ernst and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), is the next step in the process to construct the memorial in Washington, D.C.
The legislation proposes three locations for the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.:
- Constitution Gardens – This site is located in the northwestern portion of Constitution Gardens, next to a knoll overlooking the pond. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located directly to the west.
- West Potomac Park – This site encompasses an area that is centered on the Potomac Riverfront. The site area extends along the Potomac River shoreline to the northwest and southeast and is located approximately a half mile south of the Lincoln Memorial.
- JFK Hockey Fields – These two site alternates are situated between Ash Road and the pedestrian path located south of the Reflecting Pool.