HRC Blog

Design for Memorial Honoring LGBT Veterans Revealed

MilitaryPost submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern 

Only three years ago, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was still in effect, prohibiting LGBT service members from openly serving in the U.S. military. Now, the U.S. National LGBT Veterans Memorial Project has revealed its design for a national monument remembering fallen LGBT veterans in D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery. 

The memorial will be comprised of three towers positioned in a triangle – a symbol of the LGBT rights movement. Inside the triangle will be a flagpole and an inscription explaining the monument’s significance. Each tower will hold two emblems of the six branches of the U.S. military: the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.

The memorial will stand in a corner of the cemetery where six other openly gay veterans are buried. One of the men buried there is Leonard Matlovich, who was the first gay man in the military to publicly come out. He was subsequently discharged. Maltovich became famous after he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1975 for his bravery. 

Matlovich’s famous tombstone, which does not say his name, reads, “A Gay Vietnam Veteran / When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

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