The design concept for a memorial in D.C. honoring those who served and died during operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield has been approved, putting its completion on track for 2021.
The Commission of Fine Arts unanimously approved the memorial’s design concept, making it one step closer for the final design approval, Scott Stump, CEO and president of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, said.
The design will be unveiled in December.
Stump said the association hopes to have the memorial dedicated and completed by Veterans Day 2021, which would mark the 30th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War.
After final design approval, the other important piece to getting the memorial completed is fundraising.
“In order to break ground, you have to have 110% of the overall budget in the bank,” Stump said. The memorial’s total budget is $40 million.
The association recently received a large donation, the details of which Stump can’t disclose yet, but he said an additional $22 million is still needed.
There’s a host of ways people can contribute.
“Some people are doing their own little fundraisers on Facebook. We’ve got some of the veteran service organizations that are doing events for that,” he said.
Donations can also be made directly through the group’s Facebook page.
Stump said that the association has also been introduced to defense contractors in the area that were deeply involved in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, which have been valuable.
Although the memorial will remember the fallen, it will not be a place of mourning, compared to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Stump said that it will tell the story of the liberation of Kuwait by a 35-country coalition.
Moreover, it will tell how the war changed the relationship between the American public and veterans.
“I always like to point out, ‘Thank you for your service.’ That’s a phrase that everybody uses and that did not exist prior to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” Stump said.
Enabling legislation for the memorial was signed into law in December 2014, and law authorizing its construction near the National Mall was signed in March 2017.
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