19 Sep Interior Secretary Endorses Prominent Location for Fallen Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolutions of Support Introduced in Congress
September 19, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) – The Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation today announced that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has recommended that the Foundation be allowed to locate the Fallen Journalists Memorial on land near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Following the recommendation, both the House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to approve the high-profile location for the Memorial.
“The Foundation should be granted the authority to consider appropriately sized locations within Area I as potential sites for the Fallen Journalists Memorial,” Haaland wrote in a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.
The Commemorative Works Act (CWA) divides the District of Columbia into three areas for the siting of monuments and memorials, with Area I – which is roughly adjacent to the National Mall – reserved for commemorative works of “preeminent historical and lasting significance to the United States.”
Under the CWA, Congress has 150 days after receipt of the Secretary’s recommendation to pass a joint resolution of approval. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced the resolution in the Senate, while Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced it in the House. Each of the lawmakers has championed the Memorial from its earliest days co-authoring the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act (Public Law 116-253), which was signed into law in December 2020.
“Transparency and unbiased journalism are essential in a democracy and this new memorial will be a steadfast symbol of the sacrifice of those who take on this responsibility,” said Senator Cardin in a release. “The men and women who personify the First Amendment rights granted to every citizen have made our nation stronger.”
“All over our nation’s capital are federal monuments dedicated to Americans who have sacrificed their lives while promoting the values of our democracy,” Napolitano said in a release. “It is long past due that there be a permanent, commemorative work to honor the journalists who perished not only on the front lines of battle, but those whose lives have been lost while fulfilling their duty to deliver the news.”
“The Secretary’s endorsement and the bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress for a prominent location for the Memorial conveys a deep understanding within our government of the importance of this project,” said Foundation President Barbara Cochran. “As we are reminded by the recent tragic murder of Las Vegas journalist Jeff German, the deaths of our colleagues in Ukraine, and the hundreds of assaults and acts of intimidation on journalists that occur in the U.S. each year, America’s commitment to press freedom does not come without sacrifice.”
“The Fallen Journalists Memorial will honor journalists and photojournalists who have lost their lives while in pursuit of the truth,” said former Representative and Foundation Founder and Chairman David Dreier. “Thanks to my friends and former colleagues in Congress and in the Administration for their solid support, working with us to locate this Memorial at the center of our Nation’s Capital.”
About Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation
The Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation was authorized by Congress in December 2020 to build a memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C. to commemorate America’s commitment to a free press by honoring journalists who have sacrificed their lives in service to that cause. The Foundation is led by former U.S. Representative David Dreier and former news executive and journalism professor Barbara Cochran. The Foundation is supported by numerous leaders from all segments of the journalism community who serve on its Board of Advisors, including editors and publishers, news anchors, and photojournalists. To learn more about the Fallen Journalists Memorial and how to support this work at www.fallenjournalists.org and follow us at @FJMemorial.
The Levinson Group