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Memorial Fatigue
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/16/2022 11:32:39

Good Morning.

It's not been a long week, but it sure seemed awfully wide. Midweek, we had our 26th anniversary here, but at the beginning and end of the week there was sadness and disappointment, as both Mrs.TriSec and I buried different friends and relatives. I am very glad of a rare Saturday off during peak tourist season today.

I've been feeling a bit of news fatigue of late. Seems to me that there really isn't anything "new" going on. All of us can only report on the accelerating dissolution of the Divided States of America so many times before it all fades to an overwhelming shade of grey.

In checking my veteran's sources this morning, I learned of the recent groundbreaking for a National Desert Storm memorial, "just off the National Mall". I found it curious that we didn't have one yet. Checking the interwebs, I find just a few cities and towns in this Commonwealth that have a small memorial, usually just a commemorative plaque as an addition to a larger, pre-existing Veterans Park.

For all of us "X-ers" here, this is our war. I was 25 in that long ago January of 1991, and some of my friends did serve in that conflict.

But getting to that National Memorial was a long and sometimes painful road. In the end, Kuwait ended up making a significant donation so it could get built.

The long-running effort to establish a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in Washington, D.C., just off the National Mall passed a major milestone Thursday with a groundbreaking ceremony. But it was possible only because of a funding boost from Kuwait when private donations fell short.

"It's been a lot of heartache, a lot of disappointment," Scott Stump, CEO of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, told Military.com before the ceremony. The group has faced headwinds in raising funds and working through the complicated approval process.

At the groundbreaking ceremony at the memorial's new official address -- 2300 Constitution Avenue -- Stump acknowledged to hundreds of supporters in attendance that "the road getting here has been fraught with obstacles and impediments."

He thanked Kuwait's ambassador to the U.S., Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for his country's pledge of funding that helped save the memorial project. In his own remarks, the ambassador said the memorial "will forever evoke and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to give Kuwaitis their homeland back."

The tentative design for the memorial would be semicircular to recall the "left hook" by U.S. ground forces through the Saudi desert to cut off Iraqi troops in Desert Storm.

The U.S.-led mission to expel Iraqi invaders from Kuwait began on Jan. 17, 1991, with a massive aerial and naval bombardment that lasted five weeks, followed by a ground assault that lasted 100 hours until Iraq capitulated.

During the air and ground combat, a total of 96 U.S. troops were killed in action, two died of wounds and another 105 were listed as nonhostile deaths, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Americans, in general, memorialize everything. There is literally no way it made the national news, but here in Boston, a bicyclist was killed by a dump truck the other day in front of Symphony Hall. I expect the local cyclists have already installed a "ghost bike" at the site. Drive down any winding road, and you'll almost certainly run across a cross or other small sign indicating somebody's last moments.

Nationally - we're not so good at this. How long before we got a WWII memorial? Or a 9-11 memorial? Or a memorial to all the schoolkids murdered every year?

1 comments (Latest Comment: 07/17/2022 16:34:46 by Will_in_LA)
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