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Op-Ed: This Memorial Day, let's build a WWI Memorial

Weishaar mugJoe WeishaarBy Joe Weishaar
Lead Designer, National World War One Memorial in Pershing Park, Washington D.C.

As many Americans around the country take a moment to relax with friends and family this Memorial Day, I hope they take a moment to pause over their grills and swimming pools to ponder what the holiday really represents.

It's been my absolute pleasure the last 10 months to be involved in what I often consider an overwhelming project; designing the National World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C. I must admit that before I began I hadn't given much thought to WWI.

For anyone who didn't know that there isn't already a National WWI Memorial in D.C., I can't say I blame you. It was a war that happened nearly two generations before I was born and events like WWII and the Great Depression greatly overshadowed learning about it while I was in school. Yet here we are, and next year is the 100th anniversary of American troops heading over to Europe. Our capital is lacking a memorial to what is commonly referred to as “The Great War” and “the war to end all wars.” It was a war that changed the face of our industry, our technology and our place in the world.

As a 26 year old, I don't yet fully know what I can do to make change and progress in this country, but I do know that 100 years ago young Americans just like me were about to head off to fight in WWI, and they fought for the ideals that would go on to define the American century.

 Read the whole Op-Ed on the Veterans of Foreign Wars web site:

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