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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Desert Storm Memorial location, H.J. Res. 3

January 4, 2017
Speeches

The Honorable Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Committee on Natural Resources
H.J. Res. 3, Desert Storm Memorial location
January 4, 2017

Mr. Speaker:

House Joint Resolution 3 by Congressman Roe of Tennessee authorizes the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association to consider sites, along or near the National Mall, for a memorial to honor the members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield.

Under the Commemorative Works Act, any memorial proposed to be located on federal land along or near the National Mall, must be approved by Congress after the Secretary of the Interior determines that the proposed work is “of preeminent historical and lasting significance to the United States.” The Secretary of the Interior has recommended that the Desert Storm War Memorial Association be authorized to consider sites in Area I for the memorial, and this resolution would provide Congress’ approval of the Secretary’s recommendation. Congress provided initial authorization for the Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in 2014 and the memorial is to be funded solely by private donations.

History will no doubt debate the political decisions that stopped our forces before they reached Baghdad.  But it has already recorded and judged the effectiveness, the heroism, the courage and the devotion of our Armed Forces, who utterly vanquished the largest Army in the Middle East in just 100 hours, and who liberated the people of Kuwait from a hideous and sadistic military occupation.

This memorial will do more than honor the 382 Americans who gave their lives in the Gulf War and ensure that they will not be forgotten.  After all, as Lincoln said at Gettysburg, the honor they earned on the battlefield cannot be added to or detracted by us, and long after our words are forgotten, their deeds will still be remembered and celebrated.  But this monument will also remind future generations at home and abroad – friend and foe – of what the American Armed Forces can do to rescue and protect the weak – and vanquish and punish the guilty – when competently commanded in the field and backed by the full resolve of the American people in a righteous cause.