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Senator introduces bill to build 'war on terror' memorial

Jerry Hawn, a ranger with the National Mall and Memorial Parks service, gives a tour of the National Mall to sailors assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 27, 2017.

MATTHEW R HERBST/U.S. NAVY

By ELIZABETH MEYER | The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa (Tribune News Service) | Published: April 26, 2017

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst introduced a bill Tuesday permitting a private foundation to construct a memorial on the National Mall recognizing American troops fighting the war on terror.

The Iowa Republican co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

The legislation allows the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation to begin the process of pursuing construction of a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A statement released Tuesday said the memorial will honor current servicemembers, their families and veterans who died fighting "our nation's longest war."

"Though nothing will ever be able to bring back those we have lost, this will serve as a tribute to the brave men and women and their loved ones who have sacrificed in the defense of our freedom and who fight for those across the globe who do not have those same freedoms," said Ernst, an Iraq War veteran. "It is my hope that this memorial will serve as a place of healing and reflection for servicemembers, veterans and the families of our fallen, as well as a reminder of the heroic acts of many for generations to come."

Former President George W. Bush first used the term "war on terror" in September 2011 following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The phrase originally was used to draw military focus toward countries associated with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and, more recently, the Islamic State.

The Pennsylvania-based foundation would foot the cost for the memorial if Congress authorizes the project.

A companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Michael Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, and Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat.
Iowa's junior senator also re-introduced the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act Tuesday, working to expand telehealth services for disabled or rural veterans.

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