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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 8 March 2021

National Garden of American Heroes: famous names included in Donald Trump's monument

Walt Disney, Whitney Houston and Alex Trebek among stars added to project first unveiled by US President in July

In one of the last executive orders issued during his presidency, Donald Trump named more than 200 people he wants to be honoured in a monument dedicated to America's "heroes".

A park scattered with statues dedicated to politicians, artists, cultural figures and historical pioneers was first proposed by the US president in July.

The vast space, in an unspecified location, will be a tribute to "the greatest Americans who ever lived", Trump said when he announced the project, with 31 names touted, such as singers Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

In an executive order issued on January 18, the president bolstered the initial list to more than 240 names.

Scroll through the gallery above to discover some of the famous names Donald Trump has proposed to be included in the National Garden of American Heroes.

"The Task Force has advised me it has completed the first phase of its work and is prepared to move forward," said Trump.

"The National Garden will be built to reflect the awesome splendour of our country’s timeless exceptionalism. It will be a place where citizens, young and old, can renew their vision of greatness and take up the challenge that I gave every American in my first address to Congress, to 'believe in yourselves, believe in your future and believe, once more, in America'."

Among the long list of proposed names, arranged in alphabetical order, are political figures and former presidents such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, as well as inventors and scientists including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 24, 2020 US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wave after taking part in the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. First Lady Melania Trump released a farewell message on January 18, 2021 as she prepares to leave the White House, saying that "violence is never the answer," weeks after the president's supporters stormed the US Capitol. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN
US President Donald Trump, with the first lady, Melania Trump, will hand over the reins to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. AFP

A number of entertainers also feature, including singers Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston, as well as actors Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Charlton Heston and John Wayne.

Basketball star Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2020, also appears on the list, as do notable literary figures including Ernest Hemingway and Herman Melville.

Trump initially proposed the monument after anti-racism protests across the US, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, with demonstrators damaging statues honouring figures who had ties to slavery.

“These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn,” the president said in his July 3 executive order.

However, as the latest order was issued within the last 48 hours of Trump's presidency, and the project still remains a proposal with no location confirmed or ground broken, it remains to be seen if the National Garden of American Heroes will come to fruition.

Updated: January 19, 2021 05:15 PM

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