A wave of war memorials is coming to D.C.

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tags: memorials, war, war memorials

For nearly 200 years after Washington became the nation’s capital — and after nine wars, plus the Indian wars — the Mall contained no major war memorials. But the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial launched a war-memorial-building boom. Monuments to those who served in Korea (1995) and World War II (2004) followed. Since then, the pace of one per decade has dramatically increased. Today, five war memorials are being planned for spots on or near the Mall. In addition to Desert Storm, they will commemorate World War I, the global war on terrorism, Native American veterans, and African Americans — both free and enslaved — who served in the American Revolution. On top of that, all three existing national memorials have been approved for expansions: Fundraising is underway for an underground education center beside the Vietnam memorial; the Korean War Veterans Memorial is slated to get its own Vietnam-style wall etched with the names of the more than 36,000 American military personnel who were killed; and, more modestly, a plaque with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer is being designed for the National World War II Memorial.

War memorials are exceedingly popular with politicians and the public. President Obama signed legislation authorizing two that are now in the works: World War I and African Americans in the Revolution. Trump, in addition to backing the Desert Storm memorial, also signed legislation waiving the statutory 10-year postwar waiting period so planning could begin on the Global War on Terrorism Memorial. That memorial would accomplish a feat rarely if ever matched in the annals of memorial building: commemorating a war before it is over. It also epitomizes the new state of affairs, where endless war means endless war-memorial building.

Read entire article at The Washington Post

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