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Disabled Veterans Honored by President Obama

October 1, 2013

With construction started at its new home in Washington, D.C., The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will soon serve as a reminder to all Americans of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women injured while performing their duties to their country. President Obama feted the memorial’s construction at the annual convention of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which was held in Orlando and attended by 4,000 veterans and their supporters. Speaking to those veterans who were disabled during their deployment, Obama said, “you still stand tall for the values and freedoms that make America the greatest nation on Earth.” The co-founder of The Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation, Arthur H. Wilson, expressed his pleasure with the President’s remarks, saying, “he renewed his commitment to the nation’s military veterans and especially our disabled military veterans.”

Originally envisioned by Lois Pope and spearheaded by her and her co-founder’s efforts at The Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation, the soon-to-be-completed memorial has been decades in the making. First established in 1998, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc. held as its sole mission the creation of a memorial honoring the service of disabled veterans. By raising funds through private channels, the foundation succeeded in gaining the necessary support for the memorial and ultimately winning congressional approval in 2000. A year later, the memorial’s site, a two-acre plot visible from the steps of the U.S. Capitol building and across from the U.S. Botanic Garden, was approved, while the memorial’s final design gained the approval of the National Capital Planning Commission and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

The memorial itself will feature numerous elements that, when combined, will provide an ideal location for reflecting on the costs of war and the sacrifices made by America’s servicemen and women. Designed by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, the firm responsible for work on the U.S. Cemetery at Omaha Beach and the National Cathedral, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will include a star-shaped fountain within a reflecting pool, a grove of trees, and several granite and glass walls for the commemoration of veterans. Thanks to the support of countless individuals, including President Obama, the memorial will be dedicated on October 12, 2014.

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