PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As a captain in the Army, Andrew Brennan flew Black Hawk helicopters in Afghanistan; but back stateside, in Pittsburgh, he is heading another kind of mission.
Brennan is founding an organization to build a Global War on Terror Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor all those who have served since 9/11.
“So, the organization recently, we came up with a motto, and that’s – ‘Heal, Honor, Remember, Educate,'” Brennan said.
The Central Catholic graduate and Pitt MBA candidate has spent the past two years gaining support to fund and build a memorial to take its place alongside the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Wall. All of which have been sources of healing for veterans of those wars.
“Having something tangible alongside those other war memorials is going to give my generation that opportunity to heal,” Brennan said.
But the first hurdle has been the fact that the conflicts since 9/11 are on-going, and a 1986 law forbids the building of a memorial until 10 years after a war has ended.
But for the war on terror, there’s really no end in sight. Brennan believes his generation of warriors should be honored before they grow old.
“Just because this is an on-going conflict, I don’t believe my team and many of the legislatures we met with are in agreement that we should be able to build something to honor that sacrifice before it’s too late,” said Brennan.
Congressman Keith Rothfus is joining with others in supporting a bill now being drafted to waive the requirement and allow the memorial to proceed. He says the sacrifices of the post-9/11 generation must be honored.
“To have a place in our nation’s Capitol where people can go and reflect on the achievements and the pain, everything that comes with war. I think it’s an important reminder and remembrance for people who have been involved in the conflict,” Rothfus said.