National memorial planned
KENNEDALE — Every soldier who has died in the war on terror will be remembered at a national memorial being built by the United States Fallen Heroes Foundation in this Fort Worth suburb in southeastern Tarrant County.
"This memorial will also include all military personnel that have died post-9/11, and as a result of combat or non-combat injuries or trauma," said USFHF chairman Walter Coleman.
Coleman says victims of the Fort Hood massacre will be included in the tribute.
Because there was no space for a memorial in Washington D.C., organizers searched for a location in a central part of the country. They decided on a 14-acre site in Kennedale.
Foundation executives said it is conveniently located on Interstate 20, not far from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the third-busiest airport in the nation.
"To be able to call Kennedale the home of this memorial is quite an honor in itself," said Kennedale Mayor Bryan Lankhorst. "Now we have a way to salute, to honor, and to memorialize all the of the people who have given the ultimate sacrifice since the beginning of the war on terror."
The foundation is now trying to raise $50 million for the project and to generate interest in the design contest.
The funds are being raised privately. The design contest is open to any American citizen. Registration begins this weekend. A winner will be announced on Veteran's Day, November 11.
An estimated three to five million people annually are expected to visit the Fallen Heroes Memorial once it is built. Eventually, the landmark will be donated to the United States National Park Service.