There was a piece in the Outlook section of Sunday’s Washington Post entitled “How we memorialize endless war?” by public-monument scholar Kirk Savage. It’s an interesting read that sparks a legitimate question on this Memorial Day weekend.
In the wake of the U.S. Armed Forces catching Osama Bin Laden after a near ten year search, the American war on terror isn’t over. Our troops are still overseas and many more never made it home. And, a good amount of the men and women who did make it home are wounded soldiers in some capacity, be it mentally, emotionally or physically.
Savage’s article begs the question: “Will Washington ever memorialize the fights these men and women fought if there is no set end date to the on-going nature of the fight against terror?”
Due to The Commemorative Works Act of 1986, the act regulates that a new war memorial cannot be built until at least 10 years after the official, designated end of the conflict in question. “As long as our troops remain mired in the theater of war, however, will there be an ‘officially designated end’ to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Savage writes.
The fact is: Washington may be a standing memorial dedicated to the fight of our forefathers to conceive this great nation, however, the men and women who continue to fight daily in pursuit of freedom in the wake of severe terrorism may never have a plot of land dedicated to their hard work.