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Monument to
LGBT Veterans

at the
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

by James Darby
AVER Region III VP

A magnificent monument honoring the service of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender veterans is to be dedicated on Memorial Day at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Chicago.  This will be the first monument in a National VA cemetery dedicated solely to LGBT veterans by LGBT veterans. 

In 2011 members of the Chicago Chapter of American Veterans For Equal Rights decided that it was time for a Monument to the Service of LGBT veterans to be built and placed in a National Veterans Cemetery.  Over the last 3 years AVER member Stan Jenczyk worked tirelessly to bring it to reality.   The design and the plans were placed before the membership.  A final design was agreed upon, and Stanley brought the plans out to the Director of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  It has been a long and arduous journey.  After four long years of negotiations the design was accepted.

The monument will be placed in a Valley of Monuments with more than a dozen other monuments dedicated to veterans organizations.  All monuments are limited to a height of four feet. This will be the first monument in a National VA cemetery dedicated solely to LGBT veterans by LGBT veterans.

The monuments text reads:
GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE HAVE SERVED HONORABLY AND ADMIRABLY IN AMERICA'S ARMED FORCES.  IN THEIR MEMORY AND APPRECIATION OF THEIR SELFLESS SERVICE AND SACRIFICE THIS MONUMENT WAS DEDICATED BY CHICAGO CHAPTER AMERICAN VETERANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS (AVER); ... with liberty and justice for all."

American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is a non-profit, chapter-based association of active, reserve and veteran service member dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  The Chicago AVER Chapter has raised roughly half of the $20,000 cost of the monument, which is currently being created in granite.

Tax deductible donations to the monument fund may be sent to:
AVER Chicago
Monument Fund
P.O. Box 29317 Chicago, IL 60629

2015 GayMilitarySignal