WASHINGTON, D.C. — A memorial dedicated in honor of halfway-finished wars has been approved for placement in the nation’s capitol.
The site titled “The Long War Memorial” — featuring troops molded from granite fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan — will be unique in that it will be ambiguous and incomplete, leaving room for additions in future years.
While workers broke ground only recently, the memorial was sanctioned in 2001 as part of the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda “and associated forces.” The clause has been broadly interpreted as giving the president power to wage war against Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, dictators in Iraq, offshoots of the original terrorists of Afghanistan living in Yemen, loosely-affiliated terrorists of the original terrorists in Afghanistan living in Somalia, and arch-enemies of the original terrorist group in Afghanistan supported by former military officers of the deposed dictator in Iraq who now live in Syria.
James Ritter, the lead architect on the project, said that his strategy for the memorial is to build, mold, and ultimately display a fitting tribute to our nation’s heroes. In a press briefing, Ritter displayed a scale model which was about 50 percent complete that looked like it could stand on its own, but might fall apart at any moment.
“For more than a decade our generals and politicians have succeeded in shaping the Middle East and creating a safe and stable platform for democracy to flourish,” Ritter said, though he cautioned that maybe that effort could take just a bit more time, a couple hundred thousand troops, many more years of training Arab armies, trillions of taxpayer dollars, and the backing of the American people.
In addition to statues of soldiers and Marines on the front lines, the memorial plans also include imagery from the Global War on Terror. At its entrance, visitors will be greeted by an interactive hologram of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, programmed to challenge the premise of all questions asked at the site. The memorial will also have a full-size mockup of a combat dining facility, which is slated to be built by Kellogg, Brown, and Root, for a no-bid contract of $4 billion.
The memorial is set to be unveiled in 2018, barring any funding cuts to the project that may arise from planned military campaigns in Jordan, Zambia, and Papua New Guinea.
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