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National LGBT Veterans Memorial
Launches Design Competition

The National LGBT Veterans Memorial has announced the launch of its monument design competition.  The memorial in our nation's capitol will include a monument, niches for the cremains of LGBT veterans and their partners, and memorial bricks honoring the memory of LGBT veterans.  To be built at the historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC, the memorial will be an ongoing and lasting commemoration and resting place for our own patriotic lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans of service in our American armed forces.

Over a decade in the making, the memorial project was begun last year and is now in the design phase with a hoped for opening ceremony by 2015.

According to a press release in mid February:

The National LGBT Veterans Memorial Announces Design Competition For LGBT Veterans Monument At Historic Congressional Cemetery Located In Washington, D.C.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) veterans have served our nation with honor and distinction since the Revolutionary War. Many of these brave men and women have had to serve in silence. Now that the ban on their service has been repealed, it is even more urgent we erect a memorial to all LGBT past, present and future veterans. This memorial will be a visible and lasting testament to the contribution they have made to the security of the United States.

The Board of the National LGBT Veterans Memorial (NLGBTVM) is pleased to announce a competition for design of a monument and memorial garden to honor LGBT veterans who have served in the United States armed forces. This competition is open to all who would like to participate. The concept behind this project contains three specific aspects: first, a central monument/memorial; secondly, burial space for cremains of veterans; and thirdly, individual brick or paver memorializations. Deadline for design submission will be July 15, 2013. While the site will serve individuals, it will also serve as a national place of honor, retaining the dignity of a memorial garden.

Nancy Russell, a retired Army LTC and Chair of the NLGBTVM Board of Directors said, “The time has come for those of us who were forced to serve in silence to honor our fellow veterans with a dignified and impressive memorial in our national capitol. The National LGBT Veterans Memorial will be a fitting testament to those who have served our nation with honor.

Those interested in participating and would like more information should go to the website at www.nlgbtvm.org or email Chair@NLGBTVM.org.

According to LTC Russell, "There is historic and social value to be served by having a place where the service of LGBT veterans is acknowledged and serves as a testament to their sacrifice for future understanding.  The National LGBT Veterans Memorial will provide a fitting and proper memorial and resting place where our veterans may take pride in their service, attend memorials and wreath laying services, sit in reflection, a place where family and friends can gather to honor their loved ones who have fallen or those currently serving. Well over a million of our nations veterans have been forced to serve in silence and this memorial will be a place to honor the sacrifice LGBT veterans have endured over the course of history.

The planning for this memorial has been long in coming. Your help is needed in making this memorial a reality.  We welcome hearing from those wishing to support this project. Please contact me at Chair@NLGBTVM.org"

  2013 Gay Military Signal