COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) helped dedicate the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus. Brown helped secure a national designation for the Columbus museum and joined community and national leaders at today’s ceremony to provide remarks and cut the ribbon.
“Veterans don’t often speak about their service. They never brag. They ask for no recognition. But oh how they’ve earned it. This memorial will give them the recognition they would never seek, and this museum will tell their stories. That’s why this project is so important,” said Brown.
In June, President Trump signed the National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act into law. The legislation, introduced by Sens. Brown and Rob Portman (R-OH) designates the Columbus museum the ‘National Veterans Memorial and Museum.’
Brown and Portman originally introduced their bill in 2016 and then reintroduced the legislation in April 2017. The bipartisan bill passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May and passed the full Senate in June.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum’s mission is to honor Ohioans contributions through military service, connect civilians with veterans and their military experience, and educate schoolchildren about the history and value of service.
In addition, the museum will host events for active duty and retired military members, including homecoming ceremonies.
Brown’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found below:
Thank you to Secretary Colin Powell, Secretary Wilkie, David Glenn, my colleagues Senator Portman, Congresswoman Beatty, and Congressman and Brigadier General Stivers, Les Wexner, Michael Morris, Lt. General Ferriter, and everyone in Columbus who worked to make this project possible.
And to all the veterans and servicemembers here today, thank you for your service and your sacrifice.
I also want to thank you your families, who sacrifice alongside you, yet too often don’t get the thanks and recognition they deserve.
This museum is for you – the heroes who dedicate your lives in service to our country.
We’ve had far too many reminders this week of how divided our country has become. The attempted package bombings, the terrible shooting in Kentucky and the devastating news of a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh this morning are weighing heavily on our hearts.
We are so grateful to the law enforcement who work to keep everyone safe, including those on the scene in Pittsburgh, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
We will not tolerate hate and violence against our neighbors.
We must heal the divisions and bring our country together. We are Americans first, and there are so many things far more important than party politics.
Honoring our heroes is one of them.
Our veterans - those who answered the call to serve - represent the best of us. And we are all at our best when we follow their example and come together as Americans. That’s how we got this museum built, and that’s what this place will do – bring Americans of all political views and all backgrounds together to honor our veterans.
This project has been a long time coming – this May I had the privilege of touring the museum with Guy Ford, Amy Taylor, and Janelle Coleman, and it’s incredible to see this city’s vision come to life.
I want to thank everyone who worked to get this museum built. This was a passion project for David’s father, John Glenn – in a life defined by service, it’s so fitting that this place would be a final addition to his incredible legacy.
And I want to thank everyone who worked to designate this important place as our country’s National Veterans Memorial and Museum.
It’s a testament to how, when it comes to our women and men in uniform, Ohioans put politics aside, and get to work. I’m the longest serving Ohioan on the Senate Veterans’ Committee, and I’m proud that we’re one of the most bipartisan committees in the Senate.
For this project, I worked across the aisle with Senator Portman – we reached out to Senators Murkowski and Cantwell, the chair and ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and we worked together to get this through the Senate.
And in the House, Congresswoman Beatty, Congressmen Stivers, and Tiberi and the entire delegation worked together – Democrats and Republicans – to pass our legislation dedicating this place as our country’s national tribute to our veterans.
Because there is no more fitting place in the United States to pay tribute to these men and women than here in Ohio.
David, you are a reminder of all the Ohioans like your father who fought under our flag in far off lands, who left families, who missed birthdays and holidays, who sacrificed their health, and sometimes even their lives – all in service to the country they loved.
And there are so many here in our state continuing that proud tradition today – at Wright Patt, at Rickenbacker, at YARS and Camp Ravenna, at Mansfield Lahm, Toledo, and in Springfield.
John Glenn said, “The happiest and most fulfilled people I’ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest.”
Those are the men and women we honor here, and whose stories we’ll tell inside these walls – Americans who dedicated their lives to something big and profound.
One quality that runs through so many veterans I meet – David’s father, my own father, the veterans I talk with at roundtables across Ohio – is their incredible humility.
Veterans don’t often speak about their service. They never brag. They ask for no recognition.
But oh how they’ve earned it.
This memorial will give them the recognition they would never seek, and this museum will tell their stories.
That’s why this project is so important.
Within these walls, Americans will learn our veterans’ stories, and how together they tell an important part of our American story.