Ernst’s bill to create Global War on Terrorism memorial set to become law

The bipartisan Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act sponsored by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) received approval from the U.S. Senate as part of a larger defense bill and is set to become law with the president’s signature, paving the way for a new memorial to be built in the nation’s capital.

“With our bipartisan bill passing the Senate, this memorial is closer than ever to becoming a reality,” Sen. Ernst said following the vote.

S. 535, the version Sen. Ernst introduced in March with lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), on Dec. 15 passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. The measure calls for a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., honoring the veterans of the Global War on Terrorism and recommends three different sites for consideration, according to the senator’s office.

“For all those who answered the call in the wake of 9/11 to keep America safe, we must never forget what they have done for our nation. Now is the time to build a memorial on our National Mall as a permanent testament to our nation’s heroes of our longest war — a memorial that will serve as a symbol of their selflessness and sacrifice for generations to come,” said Sen. Ernst, a combat veteran of the Global War on Terrorism who served in Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 with the Iowa National Guard.

Sen. Ernst’s bill is related legislation to the same-named H.R. 1115, introduced in February by U.S. Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) that passed as an amendment to the NDAA in September.

“We are happy to have it over this part of the finish line,” Sen. Ernst said during a Dec. 16 press conference.  “It still does have to be signed into law by the president, but we don’t anticipate any problems.”