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Napolitano & Cole Introduce Fallen Journalists Memorial Act of 2019

June 25, 2019
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC)  Today, U.S. Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) introduced H.R. 3465, the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act of 2019, which would authorize the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation to work to collect funds to establish a memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Journalists put their lives on the line every day to protect our democracy and a free and independent press,” said Rep. Napolitano. “We must pay tribute to those who perished not only on the front lines of battle, but those whose lives have been lost while simply fulfilling their duty to deliver the news. I thank Congressman Cole for partnering with me on this critical legislation, and I am grateful our bill has bipartisan, bicameral support.” 

“Throughout our nation’s history, members of the press have gone to great lengths to keep the American people informed,” said Rep. Cole. “Indeed, many journalists have even put themselves in harm’s way to chase down a story and accurately report on current events. In remembrance of the thousands we have tragically lost along the way, I am proud to join Congresswoman Napolitano in introducing legislation to honor their contributions, dedication and sacrifice.”

The Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation will plan the design, construction, operation, and maintenance with the National Parks Service (NPS). U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced the Senate companion bill to H.R. 3465.

Dating back to 1837, there have been more than 2,000 journalists who have wrongfully died while working toward the promotion of the free press. This has included journalists who have died while covering military conflicts and wars, journalists who were wrongfully murdered, and journalists who died from ruthless acts of terror. One of the most recent and horrifying events was the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Maryland on June 28, 2018. During this tragic event, the gunman shot and killed five employees and injured two more. 

The only memorial that exists to honor the sacrifices that these men and women have made is at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., which is slated to close at the end of 2019. With this closure, there will be no place where the public can go to honor those who gave their lives in the field of journalism.

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