Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) , Bill Owens (D-NY) and Chris Gibson (R-NY) have joined together to introduce the "Gold Medal of Remembrance for the Sons and Daughters of Our Fallen Act of 2011" (H.R. 1926). 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.
"As a 24-year Army veteran, I saw firsthand the impact that the death of an American service member has on their family, particularly the children. While we can never fully repay these children for their loss, this "Gold Medal of Remembrance' will help to make clear how grateful our nation is for their parent's sacrifice in defense of our country," said Rep. Gibson. "I strongly support ensuring that we continue to honor our military families, particularly those who have given so much, and that we never forget those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and liberty."
"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 expired at the end of last year, prompting Reps. Rohrabacher, Owens, and Gibson, to re-introduce the bill (now H.R. 1926) in order to carry on a 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.