PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Andrew Brennan was a junior at Central Catholic High School when the planes hit the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It had a huge impact on me,” said Brennan. “I planned on going to Notre Dame and becoming a lawyer. That was my life plan to success, but after that, I decided I wanted to serve.”
Like many in his generation, Brennan heeded the call. He enrolled at West Point and was soon serving as a U.S. Army captain and helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.
But today, Brennan has a new mission — remembering all those who have served or died.
Just last week, he testified before Congress to approve a new Global War on Terror Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC to go alongside the World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials.
“I humbly ask each of you on this committee to exercise that same courage that has been shown by our military and their families in approving a memorial for those who have served, are serving today and will serve the future,” Brennan said in his address to Congress.
As the executive director of the memorial foundation, Brennan is asking Congress to lift a restriction that says that no memorial can be built until 10 years after that war has ended.
But since the war on terror is ongoing, fought for 16 years with no end in sight, Brennan says he believes that with 7,000 dead, more than 50,000 wounded and more 100,000 suffering from post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury, that this generation of warriors needs to be honored.
“Everyone’s recognizing that this is a multi-generational conflict at this point. And with that shifting paradigm of war, the law’s governing military commemorative works need to bend a little bit,” Brennan said.
The bill already has huge bi-partisan support with 141 co-sponsors in the House and 21 in the Senate.
If all goes well, it will be approved by both chambers by September with the hopes for presidential signing on 9/11.