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J. Michael Lawlor has been a leading proponent of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Memorial proposed for the grounds of the Historic Courthouse in Towson. Here, Lawlor is seen unveiling plans for the Veterans Memorial in 2013, which he also helped get erected.
J. Michael Lawlor has been a leading proponent of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Memorial proposed for the grounds of the Historic Courthouse in Towson. Here, Lawlor is seen unveiling plans for the Veterans Memorial in 2013, which he also helped get erected.

A community effort to install a Persian Gulf War veterans memorial at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Towson is moving forward.

A fundraising committee has been set up and will be represented at the Towsontown Spring Festival May 2-3, according to Baltimore County Councilman David Marks and Towson resident Christine Lawlor, who is active in the committee and whose husband, J. Michael Lawlor, came up with the idea.

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Marks, who is in his second term on the council representing Towson and Perry Hall, sponsored a resolution in his first term calling for a monument on the Historic Courthouse grounds to honor those who have served in the Persian Gulf since 1991.

Christine Lawlor said her husband, an attorney in Towson, has an affinity for Persian Gulf War veterans because his nephew, Sean Lawlor, a Baltimore County police officer, served three tours of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. Sean Lawlor's younger brother, Michael Lawlor, was a helicopter pilot for the Marines, and was on active duty when he died in a helicopter crash during a training exercise in 2004, Christine Lawlor said.

J. Michael Lawlor was instrumental in getting a Vietnam War memorial that already sits on the courthouse grounds, between the new and old courthouses, Christine Lawlor said. She said her husband approached Marks in 2011 about erecting a Persian Gulf War veterans memorial on the same grounds, telling Marks, "We really should do something for these young men. We have nothing for them."

Marks introduced a resolution for the Persian Gulf War veterans memorial in 2011 and a fundraising committee was set up at that time, raising about $20,000, Christine Lawlor said. But the committee had trouble gaining nonprofit status and floundered until it was reorganized last month, she said.

"We kind of re-energized it," she said.

Marks serves on the executive committee and state Sen. Jim Brochin and Rep. Andy Harris are ex-officio members, she said.

The new incarnation of the committee has raised $6,000 in the past two weeks, including a donation of $5,000 from the Baltimore County Police Memorial funds board of Towson Lodge No. 4 of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, she said.

The committee hopes to raise $200,000 to put a Persian Gulf War veterans memorial on the south lawn of the Historic Courthouse, near Chesapeake Avenue, Christine Lawlor said. It would be designed by retired architect Avery Harden, who also designed the local Vietnam War memorial, she said.

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