D.C. to Get First National LGBT Veterans Memorial

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com August 04 2012 12:14 PM ET

A group of LGBT veterans announced this week that a new National LGBT Veterans Memorial is being built at historical Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The memorial, says organizer Nancy Russell, is meant to be a visible and lasting testament to the contributions that transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay servicemembers have made to the security of the U.S.

The board of directors of the National LGBT Veterans Memorial have already bought the plots and are seeking design submissions for the monument from artists across the country.A committee will select from the designs submitted those artists that best meet the requirements and then those will be juried by a committee of professionals to select the winner of the design contest.

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 provide a fitting resting place where our veterans may, as Leonard Matlovich urged us to do, 'leave a lasting record of our accomplishments.'"

The plan includes the option to inter cremains for those veterans who wish to be memorialized on site. For those who want to have their service recognized but who do not want to bury their ashes, there is an option to buy a brick engraved with their service information.

The NLGBTVM is hoping to unveil the Memorial on Memorial Day 2014.