Today, U.S. Representatives Tim Burchett (TN-02), Phil Roe (TN-01) and Jason Crow (CO-06) introduced the COVID-19 Veterans Memorial Extension Act. This legislation would grant one additional fundraising year to proposed federal memorials honoring America's veterans.
"All the heroes who bravely served and defended our nation are, without question, deserving of a memorial in the capital city of the United States," said Rep. Burchett. "Lately, proposed tributes have struggled to meet their financial goals as a result of recent economic hardship. I'm proud to join this bipartisan initiative with Representatives Roe and Crow that gives monument proposals more time to raise the money they need to honor our servicemen and women. These are partisan times in Washington, but this legislation proves Republicans and Democrats can put differences aside and work together."
"As the Ranking Member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and the author of legislation which created the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial, I am proud to support the Covid-19 Veterans Memorial Extension Act," said Rep. Roe. "This legislation will help ensure that memorials honoring the brave men and women who served our country are not jeopardized by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic."
"The monuments dedicated to the service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans are a solemn reminder of the brave Americans who have selflessly gone into harm's way to protect our country. Not only do these monuments remind us of their bravery, but they also serve as common places for veterans and civilians to unite, heal, and become empowered by the selfless sense of service of those who have gone before them. I am proud to introduce this bill along with Representatives Burchett and Roe to ensure that those who have given so much for our country are given the recognition they deserve," said Rep. Crow.
Under the Commemorative Works Act, proposed federal memorial projects have seven years to raise money for building the monument. However, the coronavirus pandemic created significant barriers to reaching fundraising goals for several proposed memorials, including the National Desert Storm War Memorial, Global War on Terror Memorial and National World War I Memorial. If proposed projects fail to meet their financial obligations, they could lose the land where they are supposed to stand in the future. The COVID-19 Veterans Memorial Extension Act gives memorials short on money an extra year to fundraise without any cost to taxpayers or interference from the federal government.