Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chris Lee (R-NY), and Bill Owens (D-NY) have joined together to introducethe "Gold Medal of Remembrance for the Sons and Daughters of Our Fallen Act of 2010" (H.R. 6443). If enacted, the legislation would provide a "Gold Medal of Remembrance" to the children of the heroes who have been killed while serving on active duty in support of our conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq (Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn). In addition to the battlefield, casualties are also found on the home front, where the children who have lost a parent in service to our country oftentimes become war's most innocent victims.
Several children of Western New York heroes have had their parents taken far too soon in the conflicts in the Middle East.
"The American men and women lost on the battlefields overseas are champions of freedom who were taken from their loved ones far too soon," said Rep. Chris Lee. "The family members of these American heroes deserve to know that their loved ones' sacrifice will always be honored, and the "Gold Medal of Remembrance' will show that our nation is forever grateful for their dedication and sacrifice to our great nation."
"It's about time we give due consideration to the families of heroes who gave their lives for us," said Rep. Rohrabacher. "While we benefited from their loved ones heroism, they suffered the most. The least we can do is let these children know their parent's sacrifice is not forgotten."
"It is critical to work every day to support military families and make good on the promises the nation made to their loved ones when they entered the service," said Rep. Owens. "In addition to ensuring that children of fallen service members receive every benefit that they are due, we must reauthorize this medal and continue to honor the sacrifices made by these families in the name of national security."
The practice of awarding a Gold Medal of Remembrance in recognition of the sacrifice made by the children of the fallen was initiated by the White House Commission on Remembrance, which Congressman Rohrabacher was instrumental in creating in 2000. The Commission's authorization is set to expire at the end of this year, prompting Reps. Rohrabacher, Owens, and Lee, to introduce H.R. 6443 in order to continue this portion of the Commission's mission by authorizing the Department of Defense to carry on the tradition of issuing the Gold Medal of Remembrance. Over the last two years, over 700 Gold Medals have been presented to children of fallen service members.