WASHINGTON: Kuwait's Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced Saturday that Kuwait will be the lead financial donor for the construction of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in the heart of the US capital. "As we commemorate the 31st anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait, we are here today to celebrate the launch of the long-awaited and very special project for all of us, the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial," Sheikh Salem said at the launch of the project.

"Kuwait is very proud to be the major donor to the construction of this memorial," he added. "Our contribution stems from our strong desire to recognize and honor the men and women who stood firmly and justly on the right side of history and paid the ultimate price to free Kuwait from the aggression of Saddam Hussein," the Kuwaiti ambassador said. He affirmed that "these men and women from Kuwait, the US and other coalition countries deserve to have a place to be honored and remembered by generations to come. Their story needs to be told over and over again and this is precisely what this memorial is for," he remarked.

Furthermore, Sheikh Salem told KUNA that "this very important memorial will forever stand as a testament to America's values in upholding liberty and freedom and also as a testament to the true friendship and alliance that exist between Kuwait and the US, an alliance that was forged by blood, sweat and tears." He indicated that the memorial is expected to be completed in 2023, where it will "take its rightful place among all the other magnificent memorials" in the nation's capital.

CEO and President of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial Scott Stump said "this kind and extremely generous pledge ensures that the historical significance of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm will be forever and prominently etched into world history". "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the State of Kuwait leadership as well as Ambassador Al-Sabah for their steadfast support of this memorial and for remembering the events, people and enduring legacy for which this memorial will commemorate," Stump added.

In Dec 2014, former US President Barack Obama signed the memorial's enabling legislation. In March 2017, former President Donald Trump signed the law authorizing the memorial to be built near the National Mall, which is home to iconic monuments in Washington DC. The Memorial's design will commemorate the historical significance of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm while honoring the service and sacrifice of US and Coalition military personnel who liberated Kuwait from Iraq. - KUNA