Ernst’s efforts help propel Global War on Terrorism Memorial project forward

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is proud that construction will begin soon on the Global War on Terrorism Memorial following President Donald Trump’s recent stamp of approval.

Trump on Aug. 18 signed into law the Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act, S. 926, a bipartisan bill Ernst and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced in April to form the private Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, which will lead preliminary efforts to erect the monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“I am thrilled … to begin creating a place of remembrance for those who served, their loved ones and all impacted by this war,” said Ernst, a combat veteran.

Because fighting continues in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ernst’s and Manchin’s legislation to create the memorial had to be exempted from the 1986 Commemorative Works Act, which requires Congress to wait 10 years after the official end of a military conflict before considering a memorial in the nation’s capital. A similar bill proposed during the last session of Congress did not advance.

The foundation hopes to raise $40 million to $50 million for the privately funded memorial and plans to conduct a national competition for its design. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

“I am thankful this years-long process can now begin so the veterans of this war may have the opportunity to visit the tribute to their selfless service,” said Ernst, who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service, and who served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq.

The new law marks the first step to design, plan and build the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.

“For the thousands of Americans who perished protecting our freedom, and the million more who were wounded or fought in the global war on terror, this memorial will forever honor their sacrifice to our great country,” said Manchin. “I thank the president for seeing to it that this memorial was quickly approved.”