DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation (DVLMF) President Arthur H. Wilson today hailed the announcement of a federal grant related to The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial as “removing the last hurdle we needed to clear on this long road to establishing a national memorial to remember and honor all of America’s disabled veterans.”
Today, the Department of Transportation announced that the District of Columbia was being awarded $6,042,000 under the Public Lands Highway Discretionary (PLHD) grant program in order to make changes to streets surrounding the Memorial site. Although the Foundation will build the actual Memorial and has already raised the private funding necessary for that purpose, the Memorial’s construction cannot begin until several changes are made to District streets surrounding the site Congress approved for the Memorial. To pay for this work, Congress in 2007 and 2009 appropriated a total of $3.9 million for the first phase of the street changes. Today’s announcement completes the federal funding required for the second phase and clears the way for the Memorial’s construction to begin.
“More than 15 years ago, we started this long journey to establish a national memorial honoring the men and women who have been permanently disabled in service to our country,” Wilson said. “We are grateful for all of the support we have received on this journey and proud that one day soon, there will be a Memorial recognizing the sacrifices that the few have made to protect the many in our great nation, and throughout the world.”
“The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress over the years, and we particularly want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts put forth by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham, and many others from both sides of the aisle in both chambers,” Wilson said.
“We are also extremely grateful to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, his senior leadership team, and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez for their personal dedication and commitment to the Memorial that resulted in this grant award,” he said. “In addition, Mayor Gray and his team in the District of Columbia have committed to expediting this street work in order to prevent unnecessary delays for the Memorial’s construction.”
“With the final financial impediment removed, and a single utility relocation issue remaining to be resolved, we are hopeful that on-site construction of the Memorial will begin next year, allowing the Memorial to be completed and dedicated in early 2014,” said Wilson.
The Memorial will be located on a 2.4-acre triangle between Washington Avenue SW, C Street SW and Second Street SW, which sits across from the U.S. Botanic Garden and within view of the U.S. Capitol.
The Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, Inc. was created in 1998 through the combined efforts of philanthropist Lois Pope, Foundation Chair; Arthur Wilson, Foundation President and National Adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans; and the late Jesse Brown, former Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the Foundation was authorized by Congress to establish a national memorial dedicated to America’s living and deceased disabled veterans. The Foundation’s mission is to raise the private funds necessary to establish the memorial and to accomplish its design and construction. For more information, visit www.avdlm.org or call toll-free 800-331-7590.
SOURCE Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, Inc.