November 12, 2020

Gold Star Sister Steph Ouellette Calls for Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Veterans Day Op-Ed

Senator Hassan Introduced Bipartisan Bill to Construct Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- In case you missed it, Gold Star sister Steph Ouellette of Manchester called for a Global War on Terrorism Memorial in an op-ed that ran on Veterans Day. 

 

"We can take an important step forward in honoring the sacrifices of service members and veterans, and bring people together, by building a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall," wrote Ouellette. "In New Hampshire, we do a great job of honoring those who served in the Global War on Terror...Nationally, we must do a better job of honoring these heroes, which is why a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall would be so important. Sen. Maggie Hassan is leading a bipartisan effort in Congress to make that happen."

 

On September 11, Senators Hassan and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize the construction of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

Read Ouellette's full piece here or below. 

 

Concord Monitor: My Turn: Bringing Americans together through a Global War on Terrorism Memorial

 

By Steph Ouellette

 

Unfortunately, right now, the focus is too often on our differences and what separates us, rather than what unites us as Americans.

Now more than ever, we should recognize the selfless actions of the active-duty service members, veterans, and others who chose to be part of something bigger than politics and bigger than themselves.

We can take an important step forward in honoring the sacrifices of service members and veterans, and bring people together, by building a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall.

As a Gold Star sister, this is an issue that is personal to me.

My brother Cpl. Michael Ouellette USMC, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, and received the Navy Cross for the actions that occurred on the date of his death. In the years since, I have been working to honor our service members in the Global War on Terror, as well as their loved ones.

In New Hampshire, we do a great job of honoring those who served in the Global War on Terror.

Locally, we have monuments including one located at the Hampton American Legion Post 35, as well as the memorial at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery along the memorial walkway. We hold remembrance ceremonies, and local citizens do innumerable acts of community service to honor these men and women and their loved ones and carry on their legacies of service.

Nationally, we must do a better job of honoring these heroes, which is why a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall would be so important. Sen. Maggie Hassan is leading a bipartisan effort in Congress to make that happen.

In September, Sen. Hassan, along with Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, a combat veteran, introduced the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act, legislation that would authorize a national Global War on Terrorism Memorial to be constructed on the National Mall.

I’m extremely grateful to Sens. Hassan and Ernst for recognizing the significance of the National Mall in our collective history and the need to build this memorial now.

Too many veterans of previous wars – including my grandfather, a World War II veteran – never had the chance to see a national monument that honors his service and the lives of those he served with. We cannot do that to another generation of service members; they deserve more than that.

It is also encouraging to see Sens. Hassan and Ernst come together on a bipartisan basis to take on this task and work to make this monument happen. I have been active in this effort for years, and simply made a call and sent an email to Sen. Hassan’s office about it.

Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would get this far, but this is our elected officials doing what they are supposed to: working with the people they represent to move forward the ideas and ideals that are important to them.

This monument is important because it will act as a historical touchstone. It is not to glorify war, rather it’s to honor those who have served. It will help link the past to the present and enable people from all across the country to come together to remember and respect the sacrifices of those who died, those who fought, and the people they loved.

We have the opportunity as a nation to unite around a common cause: the simple act of honoring the sacrifices of all who have served through a national Global War on Terrorism Memorial.

This bipartisan legislation is an important step forward, and I look forward to it moving ahead.

(Steph Ouellette lives in Manchester.)

 

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