War on Terror veterans fight for memorial at the National Mall

Morning In America

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Michael Rodriguez served 21 years in the Army with multiple deployments to Afghanistan. Now, he and other veterans are fighting for a memorial to veterans of the War on Terror at the National Mall.

“This specific location provides an environment for solemnity,” Rodriguez said.

Marina Jackman, CEO of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation, is championing the cause.

“The place that this memorial should be is here on our National Mall, in this sacred space,” Jackman said.

The push for the memorial hasn’t been easy. Congress passed a law in 2003 that prohibits new construction on the National Mall.

In 2015, her organization began lobbying Congress to make an exemption. U.S. Rep. Michael Rodriguez of Wisconsin has since co-sponsored a bill that paves the way for the memorial.

“For 20 years, veterans of the Global War on Terror have fought hard to keep our country safe. The House has taken important steps to ensure their service is properly honored on the National Mall, but one final step remains. Now is the time for the Senate to follow the House’s lead and get this done,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher says veterans need a place to mourn, reflect and heal. Rodriguez agrees, saying the memorial would help mend the wounds of a 20-year global war on terrorism.

“We tend to underestimate how powerful it is for people to have a place to go to, to think and reflect upon their service,” Gallagher said.

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