Lawmakers Back Bipartisan Call for War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington

Lawmakers have called for a Global War on Terrorism Memorial to be established on the National Mall in honor of service members who were on active duty in the Middle East and elsewhere following the September 11 attacks.

A bipartisan group of 38 lawmakers co-sponsored a bill introduced by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Jason Crow (D-CO) on Thursday that would authorize the creation of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

The veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan said a memorial to those who died in the War on Terror would provide families with a place to "reflect, remember, and heal" as President Joe Biden faces a looming deadline for deciding whether or not to withdraw the last U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) are among the 38 lawmakers who have backed the bill.

U.S. Troop Embraces Family
Family members embrace after soldiers returned home from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan on December 10, 2020 at Fort Drum, New York. John Moore/Getty Images

"As a veteran of the Global War on Terror, I served alongside many brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country," Rep. Gallagher said in a statement. "It's past time to honor their service, and the sacrifice of all those who served in this war. This memorial is a small way to do so, and there's no place more fitting for it than the National Mall."

Rep. Crow added that the War on Terror had changed the lives of "millions of service members, military families, first responders, and civil servants," including his own life.

"Those of us that have served know the transformative power of a sacred place where veterans and their families can come to reflect, remember, and heal," the veteran said. "A permanent tribute to their courage and sacrifice in our nation's capital will go a long way in honoring those who have served in our nation's longest war."

Marina Jackman, the CEO of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, also welcomed the bill. She said the memorial would serve as a "symbol of unity" in a politically divided nation—nodding to President Biden's promise of national unity in his inaugural address.

Reps. Gallagher and Crow previously introduced the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act in November 2019—winning support from more than 100 lawmakers. However, it did not manage to make it past committee.

The bill proposed three potential sites for the memorial on the National Mall: the JFK Hockey Fields, West Potomac Park and the Constitution Gardens.

If the memorial were placed in the JFK Hockey Fields or the Constitution Gardens, it would neighbor similar veterans memorials for those who served in the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Gallagher's office for further comment.