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Opinion: 6 former secretaries of defense: We must memorialize the fallen in the global war on terrorism

Opinion by Robert M. Gates, Leon E. Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Ash Carter, Jim Mattis and Mark T. Esper

At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill suggested the arch leading into the bomb-stricken House of Commons be rebuilt with stone scarred by the war. He hoped it would be a reminder to future generations of the fortitude and sacrifice of those who fought and the families who stood behind them.

As the global war on terrorism reaches its 20th year this Sept. 11, the United States needs a place to honor its sacred war dead. Calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Crisis Line have surged since the United States left Kabul. Veteran service organizations have responded with concern, putting out letters, op-eds and videos reminding veterans that their service made a difference.

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