Hogan calls for support on Global War on Terrorism Memorial legislation

(The Center Square) – As the United States Marine Corp. celebrates its 246th birthday and Veterans Day is being celebrated on Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan is urging a pair of Maryland lawmakers to support legislation that would create a new military memorial at the National Mall.

Hogan wrote a letter to Maryland’s Democratic U.S. senators – Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen – asking them to support the Global War on Terrorism Location Act. The act is a bipartisan measure that would authorize the construction of a memorial to honor the men and women who gave their lives in the War on Terror with a memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than 7,000 U.S. service members –including 126 Marylanders – have died in military operations in the Global War on Terror,” Hogan wrote. “The recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, along with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, have heightened Americans’ recognition of the ultimate sacrifice that these men and women have made throughout the longest war in our history. A memorial on the National Mall would give the families of the fallen a place to mourn and remember, and it would give current and future generations an opportunity to reflect on the true cost of freedom.”

The act was filed by U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. The bill has 51 co-sponsors.

Ernst commanded 150 troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the first female veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the measure in September as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

According to Ernst, the bill has been blocked twice on the Senate floor.

“As commander-in-chief of the Maryland National Guard, I have seen off countless citizen soldiers headed to Iraq and Afghanistan,” the governor wrote. “I have also mourned with the families of Marylanders killed in action. On behalf of all Marylanders, I ask you to join us in honoring the veterans of America’s longest war by supporting the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.”

In Hogan’s letter to Cardin and Van Hollen, he expressed his “disappointment” that the pair have chosen not to co-sponsor the legislation, and that the measure has “strong support of the six surviving secretaries of defense” in addition to military support organizations including Wounded Warrior Project, Gold Star Families and other veteran organizations, according to the letter.

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