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Do you know how many hoops you have to jump through to build a memorial in DC?


Do you know how many hoops you have to jump through to build a memorial in DC?

WATCH: The process for building a memorial in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, MLK, Vietnam, and soon Eisenhower. They all have something in common. They have memorials in our nation's capital.

Just this week, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission announced that Eisenhower's family had approved of the designs. Their approval was the last hurdle for a process that was started in 1999, and now the commission is about to break ground on the new memorial to honor our 34th president. The memorial is set to open in 2019, just in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII, is deserving of a memorial. But who gets to decide?

Well as it turns out, it's up to Congress.

There are specific guidelines for getting a memorial built in Washington, D.C., and the first on the list is getting Congress to pass legislation that approves of the building of the memorial and establishes a commission to oversee the construction, design, location and fundraising efforts. 

Fundraising is a big task. The Eisenhower Memorial is set to cost $125 million dollars, with 20 percent of that coming from private donations.

The next step can be the longest, and that is giving the commission established by Congress time to do its job. For the Eisenhower Commission, it's been 17 years, and their work won't be finished until the construction of the memorial is complete and control is transferred over the National Park Service.


Once the commission has a design, they must get approval from the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. Architect Frank Gehry will design the memorial.

The National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission is also involved in the guidelines for memorials. It's an independent government agency, was created in 1986 to oversee the building of memorials in Washington. The Commission is made up of eight people, including the mayor of D.C. and the architect of the Capitol. They are there to make sure any new memorials follow strict guidelines about how they should look and where they can be located. For instance, they mandate that nothing can be erected between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. 


So once the commission has been established, has a design, raised the funds, and has gotten approval, then they can begin to build. For the Eisenhower Commission, if it goes according to plan, this process will have taken 20 years.

raffi memor.jpg

So if you want a memorial built for yourself in Washington, you better start sooner rather than later.

Just to help the commission that will build my memorial, I have taken care of the design.

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