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Public Statements

Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BILIRAKIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of S. 3202, the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act.

I appreciate my colleagues' diligence in moving this language through the Senate, and I am grateful for the work they have done on behalf of our veterans. I would also like to thank my good friend and fellow Floridian, Chairman Jeff Miller, and Ranking Member BOB FILNER for the work they have done this Congress to improve the quality of services for our veterans--our true American heroes.

This truly bipartisan piece of legislation incorporates language similar to H.R. 6073, which is legislation that I introduced in the House after learning that Private Lawrence Davis, Jr., a World War II veteran, had been buried in a cardboard box in a veterans cemetery not far from my district. This legislation ensures that veterans with no next of kin and insufficient funds for proper and dignified burials will receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Our Nation's heroes deserve to be buried in the same way they served our great Nation--with dignity, honor, and respect. Private Davis deserved better. While we cannot go back and rewrite what has already happened, we can ensure that it doesn't happen again. This legislation is the right thing to do; and in the final hours of this Congress, I am very pleased that this Chamber is taking action on this important piece of legislation. Again, I urge the passage of S. 3202.

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