Design for Operation Desert Storm war memorial unveiled in Fredericksburg

The design for an Operation Desert Storm memorial was unveiled in Fredericksburg Thursday. Making a national memorial isn't easy; it's a 24-step process which takes several years.

With the unveiling in Fredericksburg, groundbreaking in Washington DC could be right around the corner.

“The world needs to know about the victory and how the country treated veterans differently than Vietnam veterans and desert storm helped that pivot to come about,” said Cee Freeman, vice president of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial Association.

Freeman is not only a part of the group pushing to get the memorial built, he's also a veteran of the Gulf War.

“Signed up in 1989 to serve my country, get a little college money and ended up going to war,” said Freeman.
Operation Desert Storm was the first major foreign crisis for the United States after the end of the Cold War. According to Freeman, this victory helped mold the public image of being in the military into a positive one, which is what they want people to remember when viewing this memorial.

Right now this $40 million memorial is expected to go right next to the Lincoln Memorial.

Randy Schumacher, lead designer of the memorial, said they surveyed dozens of veterans from Operation Desert Storm about how the memorial should look.

“Their input influenced the design, it influenced the left hook shape of the design, veteran input had a lot to do with the shape the memorial has taken,” said Schumacher.

One design choice not being added are the names of the fallen. The association said they do not want the number of deaths to be compared to other war memorials in the area and, in turn, take away from the impact Desert Storm's victory had.

If everything goes according to plan, they expect to have the project completed by 2021, which would be the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm.