Robert M. Gates, Leon E. Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Ash Carter, Jim Mattis and Mark T. Esper write in Washington Post Opinions: At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill suggested the arch leading into the bomb-stricken House of Commons be rebuilt with stone scarred by the war. He hoped it would be a reminder to future generations of the fortitude and sacrifice of those who fought and the families who stood behind them.
As the global war on terrorism reaches its 20th year this Sept. 11, the United States needs a place to honor its sacred war dead. Calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Crisis Line have surged since the United States left Kabul. Veteran service organizations have responded with concern, putting out letters, op-eds and videos reminding veterans that their service made a difference.
Yet there is no national memorial to the global war on terrorism. No eternal reminder of the brave women and men who gave their lives for their country. No place to collectively honor the troops, veterans, families and friends who remain. We cannot wait 50 years to break ground on a memorial for this war.
[…]The National World War II Memorial was completed almost 60 years after the conflict ended. A 20-year-old World War II veteran returning home would have visited the memorial at 80 years old. Most never made it there. We must give friends, families and veterans a place to gather, throughout their lifetimes, with the spirits and memories of all those they lost.
In these days after the exit of the last American service member from Afghanistan and before the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, the president and the Congress have an opportunity and an obligation to get this done.
Read more: https://wapo.st/3yUOPND