WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2012 -- With all eyes focused on the looming "fiscal cliff," one example of true non-partisan government achievement has quietly begun within full view of the U.S. Capitol - construction of The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Last week, PEPCO began construction of the new duct bank for relocation of its underground power lines outside of the Memorial site. PEPCO's work follows the relocation of data communication facilities by the Architect of the Capitol, Verizon, Level3 and Fibergate earlier this fall.
When the relocation and power transfer is complete, the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin the perimeter street improvements necessary to accommodate the site for Memorial construction. DDOT's current schedule contemplates advertising the work for bid by the end of December, with actual construction starting in March.
"We are grateful and encouraged by the priority attention and support this project has received from the many stakeholders," stated Barry Owenby , the Memorial's Project Executive. "DDOT and the National Park Service were extremely responsive in issuing the required permits and coordinating the utility relocations. We're very appreciative of the public spirit of all the utility companies in moving their lines so the street and Memorial construction can start next year."
Because of its prominent location -- Washington Avenue & C Street NW -- and proximity to the Rayburn House Office Building, a sizable number of stakeholders are involved in the street construction, traffic management and security concerns associated with the project. In addition to the National Park Service and DDOT, the Architect of the Capitol, U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration have assigned senior staff to assure the street construction proceeds on schedule while maintaining physical security for the U.S. Capitol complex. These entities will also work together to ensure the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic both during construction of the Memorial and after its dedication. Staffers for the House Committee on Administration as well as other key House officers are also engaged in the project.
The Memorial was unanimously authorized by Congress in 2000 "to honor veterans who became disabled while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States." The site was approved in 2001, and after some major design changes, the final design was approved in 2009 and 2010 by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission respectively.
Arthur H. Wilson , National Adjutant for the DAV and President of the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, the non-profit that Congress authorized to build the Memorial, saluted the support by Congress. "Three different Congresses enacted four public laws affecting the Memorial: its authorization and re-authorization, transferring the site to the National Park Service, and the Memorial's commemorative coin issued by the United States Mint. All of these bills were approved unanimously in both the Senate and the House. It's very gratifying to realize that an entire Congress, and especially multiple Congresses, are standing behind and supporting efforts to remember and honor all of America's disabled veterans, past, present and future."
The Foundation's schedule is to complete the Memorial's construction in September 2014 and dedicate the Memorial in October 2014.
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.
Editor's note: High resolution jpgs of the Memorial's scale model are available. Please contact The Murry Agency at 305-531-5720 for a selection.
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SOURCE Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, Inc.