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Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act

Location: Washington, DC

RESPECT FOR AMERICA'S FALLEN HEROES ACT -- (House of Representatives - May 24, 2006)


Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of H.R. 5037.

First of all, I want to thank the chairman, Mr. Buyer, for his support and his leadership and his vision in protecting and speaking on behalf of our veterans. I think it is important that we have someone who has served in the military who will stand up for a lot of our veterans. As you see in Congress today, we do not have a lot of individuals who have served in the military or are willing to stand up with it.

The other individual I would like to thank is Sylvestre Reyes, because he truly has served as a veteran, has served in the committee and stands up for important legislation that talks about the Fallen Heroes Act. Right now, that is important for a lot of us.

I want to thank both of you for standing up and your leadership on behalf of all veterans of America, because we owe it to our veterans.

Many of our veterans who serve our country serve with honor and dignity. They believe in this country. They believe in standing up for the freedoms we enjoy today. A lot of them do not know what is going to happen to them, but they serve with honor and dignity because they believe in the freedoms that we enjoy today and the freedoms that we will enjoy tomorrow.

But if a fallen hero falls, we have the responsibility as Americans to make sure that we protect them and that they have the right to bury their families with honor and with dignity. As Americans, we have that responsibility because, ultimately, they give the sacrifice for us so that we can enjoy those freedoms, those freedoms that we take for granted every day of our life, whether to buy a home, go to school, go to college, enjoy the freedom of speech, enjoy whatever we need. We have the same responsibility to those individuals who have fallen.

To the parents and the relatives, to a wife or anyone else who is there, I think this bill is the right thing to do because we need to respect with honor and dignity those who are willing to sacrifice for us. Too often, we forget.

As we look at the flag right behind you, Mr. Speaker, it is a flag that we honor. It is a flag that many individuals have stood for. It is our veterans who have done that, and when they receive that flag, and many of them receive that flag, it should be done with honor and dignity, without any disruption of anyone picketing, and too often we forget that.

Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of this important legislation on behalf of all veterans who are willing to serve now and will serve us in the future. We owe it to them, and I appreciate what Mr. Reyes has done and Mr. Buyer has done.


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