From Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired)

The Cold War Veterans Memorial Commission is pleased to invite entries to the design competition for a new Cold War Veterans Memorial. This Memorial will be a critical piece of the Pritzker Archives and Memorial Park Center currently under development in Somers, Wisconsin.

In ways both small and large, The Cold War shaped our country’s history. Between 1945 and 1991, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were locked in a titanic battle of competing visions for organizing their societies and the world. The two superpowers were not technically at war with each other. Still, the war for ideological dominance spurred a nuclear arms build-up, a space race, economic and industrial competition, and a string of proxy wars that drew Americans into battle against not only Soviet aggression but also Communist China and a slew of other powers. In missions on and off the battlefield, Americans of all stripes made immense sacrifices in defense of our national interest. They deserve to be recognized, and the weight of this era deserves to be understood.

The Cold War became the longest in American history. Its impact, which is still debated by historians, makes clear that this conflict compelled our country to put its highest ideals into better practice. As a result, our nation made crucial advances in civil rights, education, infrastructure, scientific research, and more.

The Center’s new Cold War Veterans Memorial will give permanent recognition to these and other accomplishments made possible by the often-quiet sacrifices of countless Americans during nearly half a century of fighting to expand freedom and democracy. It will allow exploration and celebration by the American public of the bravery and tenacity that military and civilian fighters exhibited during the Cold War era.

Few things could be more critical than preserving for the public a full understanding of how our history shapes our present and future. One of the most effective ways to do this is to dedicate public spaces, like the Park Center, to this worthy goal. I want my children and grandchildren, and your children and grandchildren, to have a place where they can contemplate the decisions and actions necessary to create and sustain our democratic freedoms.

Our mission to share and preserve the stories of the citizen soldier through honor and education can only be met with the public’s participation. The Cold War Memorial design competition’s goal is to achieve a timeless memorial that will honor Cold War veterans’ service and inspire the public to take the steps necessary to preserve our freedoms for centuries to come.

As a Cold War era veteran serving on active duty from 1974 to 1985 in the U.S. Army, I am especially committed to this project and look forward to reviewing many inspiring ideas for honoring our veterans and creating a truly exceptional Cold War Veterans Memorial.


Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired)

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