June 5, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Design competition for LGBT veterans memorial
Congressional Cemetery, gay news, Washington Blade

An organization is planning to install a National LGBT Veterans Memorial in D.C.’s historic Congressional Cemetery. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

An organization planning to install a National LGBT Veterans Memorial in D.C.’s historic Congressional Cemetery is inviting artists to enter a competition for the design of a monument “to honor LGBT veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces” that will be part of the memorial.

Nancy Russell, a retired Army Lt. Colonel and chair of the board of the National LGBT Veterans Memorial Project, said the group has a contract with Congressional Cemetery for a site for the monument with the option to obtain more space if needed.

“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 capital,” Russell said. “The National LGBT Veterans Memorial will be a fitting testament to those who have served our nation with honor.”

A statement released by the organization says a deadline for submission of designs has been set for Oct. 15, 2013. Information about how to enter the contest and how supporters can make a contribution to help pay for the monument can be obtained at nlgbtvm.org or by emailing an inquiry to Chair@NLGBTVM.org.

“The concept behind this project is to create a memorial garden where military veterans can inter all or part of their remains/ashes amid a community of other proud veterans,” a statement on the group’s website says. “It is to be a place of honor where friends and family members may go to remember and pay homage to their loved one.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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