At the outset of the process to build the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial, a survey was distributed to all Desert Storm and Desert Shield veterans in the NDSWM database. The survey was also posted on the website in order to give an opportunity for all interested veterans to contribute their thoughts and suggestions. The survey asked veterans the following 5 questions:
1. What do you believe was the most historically significant or important accomplishment of Desert Storm and Desert Shield?
2. What do you believe should be remembered or memorialized for our descendants about this conflict for posterity?
3. What do you believe a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial should look like?
4. What do you believe a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial should symbolize?
5. Please share any other thoughts, stories, letters, photos or artifacts that you wish.
All survey responses were tabulated and carefully studied by the NDSWM Board of Directors and the design team. Results revolved around these themes:
The memorial should focus on the historical significance of so many nations of the free world coming together for a common cause. The war effort was not a unilateral U.S. pursuit, but rather a multinational coalition of 34 nations. It was suggested that the design might include a “roll call of nations” or 34 symbolic pillars.
- The memorial’s design should reflect or recreate the desert environment where the war was fought.
- Names of the fallen should be engraved into the memorial. A gold star might be incorporated for each life that was lost.
- The memorial should include a lifelike statue of soldiers wearing protective masks and chemical warfare protective gear.
- The memorial’s design should illustrate the “Left Hook” maneuver that was used to flank the Iraqi forces.
- Bronzes of the campaign ribbons might be incorporated.