US Peace Memorial Foundation
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
D. ABOUT THE US PEACE MEMORIAL ITSELF
D.1 What is the rationale
for building the US Peace Memorial?
Please take a few minutes to read a succinct rationale for
the US Peace Memorial at “It’s
time to memorialize peace in our public spaces.” This is a short essay that we hope you will
share with your friends, family, and colleagues.
D.2 How can the US Peace Memorial change our culture?
Our nation has a long, but largely
unrecognized, history of courageous Americans who have opposed U.S. aggression,
violence, and war. The US Peace Memorial
will display antiwar quotations by American leaders, document U.S. antiwar role
models and activities, and make it clear to our citizens that advocating
for peaceful solutions to international problems and opposing war are honorable
and socially acceptable activities in our democracy. A national monument to peacemakers can raise
awareness of these activities and help to change our cultural mindset so that
it will no longer be acceptable to label those who speak out against war as
un-American, antimilitary, traitorous, or unpatriotic. The memorial and the US
Peace Registry will help decrease
the social barriers that citizens must overcome before they speak out against a
war. For a more detailed discussion read
“Honoring Peace and Antiwar Behavior” which was published in Peace Psychology at www.uspeacememorial.org/Article2.htm.
D.3 Where will the Memorial be located?
Once sufficient resources are available, the Foundation
will petition Congress to support setting aside public land on the Washington
Mall for construction of the US Peace Memorial.
If efforts to secure a location on the Mall fail, other sites and
private land will be considered. A highly
visible site in the nation’s capital is deemed to be most desirable.
D.4 What is the target
date for construction to begin?
target date to begin construction is arbitrarily set as July 4, 2028. This is a
very ambitious goal since progress depends on many factors, including
approvals, fundraising, public support, land acquisition, etc. If the US Peace
Memorial is to be built on the mall, the Foundation must secure approvals from
the National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the
National Capital Memorial Commission. This process will begin once sufficient
funds are in hand. The Foundation must raise millions to develop and build the
monument and guarantee perpetual maintenance. We must recruit many large donors
and over 500 additional Founding Members.
D.5 When will the Memorial be completed?
Realization of the physical memorial will depend
on how quickly sufficient donations are received. The cost is estimated at over
$20 million. As a comparison, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial took decades
of fundraising and cost about $120 million to build.
D.6 What will the Memorial look
Our Founding Members will be consulted about the physical
design. Two artists’ conceptions have been completed based on the preliminary
description at www.uspeacememorial.org/Design. Alice Yeager’s illustration is at www.uspeacememorial.org/Drawing1
and Beth Brookfield’s work is at www.uspeacememorial.org/Drawing2.
These are early conceptions that may or may not resemble the
final structure. We encourage other artists to create their own vision, based
on the preliminary description at www.uspeacememorial.org/Design,
and send it to Knox@USPeaceMemorial.org.
No final decisions are likely until we have successfully
completed our initial fundraising campaign – so there is still time to become a
Member and give us your opinion!
D.7 Why do we need this
project? Aren’t there other peace memorials?
Before beginning our project in
2005, we conducted an exhaustive online search for peace memorials and
monuments. The results were disappointing. In many U.S. cities you will find
"peace monuments" that are actually memorials
to a war or to war dead. For example, the
Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial in Lake Erie, the Peace Monument on the grounds of the Capital
that commemorates naval deaths during the Civil War, and the Eternal Peace Flame in Gettysburg
which commemorates a battle and is surrounded by guns. Peace memorials in the U.S. tend to reinforce
the concept: "you earn the peace by winning the war."
Although several other countries
have peace memorials that could serve as a model for one here, none are focused
on the U.S. peace movement. The U.S. has some as well, but all are local, not
national monuments. These include the Peace Memorial Park, Portland, OR;
Peace Garden at Fresno State University, CA; the Lyndale Park Peace Garden in
Minneapolis, MN; the Peace Plaza in Salem, OR; Peace Garden in Harrisburg, PA;
Prairie Peace Park in Lincoln, NE, and The Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA.
Nothing exists in the U.S. that
could be considered a national peace memorial. There is only one US Peace
Memorial Foundation and only one plan to build a national monument to recognize
and honor those who have opposed U.S. war(s) and/or proposed peaceful
alternatives to war.
Please consider joining us as a Founding Member. Founding
Members are listed on our website, in our
forthcoming book, and eventually at the national
monument we plan to build in Washington DC.
Since 2005, the US Peace Memorial Foundation has
directed a nationwide effort to recognize peace leadership by publishing
the US Peace Registry, awarding an
annual US Peace Prize,
and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington,
DC. These educational projects help move the U.S. toward a culture
of peace as we honor the millions of thoughtful and courageous Americans and
U.S. organizations that have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars
or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful
solutions to international conflicts. We celebrate these role
models in hopes of inspiring other Americans to speak out against war and for
D.8 The United States Institute of Peace headquarters near the
Washington Mall will include a peace education center. Doesn't that satisfy the mission of the
US Peace Memorial?
Peace Memorial Foundation is an organization of private citizens who are
dedicated to the proposition that peace can be supported by individuals who
speak out in favor of diplomatic and peaceful alternatives to war and
aggression. Members are volunteers and
funding is garnered through donations. Foundation members are independent; they
include tenured university faculty,
scholars, and citizen activists who are free to publish research findings even
if those findings appear to oppose the foreign policy of the United States.
In contrast, the United States
Institute of Peace (USIP), is a creation of the U.S. Government located
on Navy property across from the Mall. Funded by Congress, it
acts as an instrument of the Executive Branch, and its directors are appointed
by, and serve at the pleasure of, the President. During much of its
history, USIP has been run by people closely associated with the military
and the National Security Council.
The board includes the Secretaries of State and Defense, the president of
the National Defense University. USIP staff are civil servants who
understand that – if they value their jobs – they must adhere to the prevailing
party line regarding the need for U.S. invasions and wars.
As one might expect, USIP has never opposed a
U.S. war or proposed peaceful alternatives to a U.S. invasion of a foreign
country. In fact, USIP staff work in countries we invade as part of
its mission to "Promote post-conflict stability and
democratic transformations.” In general, USIP conducts research and
implements programs to support the pacification policies of the
administration. In many ways this is a case of the fox
guarding the hen house, providing no independent assessment of the concept of
“peace” or the administration’s war activity.
I’m sure the Institute was founded with good
intentions, but USIP has shown us what happens with good intentions are under
the control of a government that views war as its highest priority. The US Peace Memorial Foundation feels that it is
time to acknowledge the actions of peace and antiwar activists in the United
facility does not recognize and honor the millions of U.S. citizens who
have publicly urged the use of diplomacy and global cooperation to solve
international problems and who have opposed U.S. military solutions including
invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of
weapons, and/or threats of war.
The US Peace Memorial does just that.
US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a
tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity.
Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent
provided by law.
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