WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act, legislation that would prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs from denying veterans the honor they have earned by allowing fallen heroes to be honored at their gravesite with a replica of the Battlefield Cross. The Battlefield Cross is a memorial marker typically consisting of a soldier’s helmet, rifle, identification tag, and pair of boots that serves to honor and respect servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The battlefield cross is an important symbol of the service and sacrifice of thousands of fallen American heroes both in combat zones and here at home,” said Portman. “While we take time this Memorial Day to honor these individuals, these memorials stand as a constant reminder of the cost of our freedom. I am pleased the Ohio delegation came together on a bipartisan basis to help ensure that veterans buried in Ohio and around the country can be properly honored with the battlefield cross.”
“The battlefield cross is a sacred tradition of American servicemembers, and government bureaucracy shouldn’t keep Ohio veterans and their families from honoring those who served with this powerful symbol,” said Brown. “Let’s ensure that this tribute can continue at all national veterans’ cemeteries.”
NOTE: The legislation responds to a 2016 incident at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery (OWRNC) in Rittman, Ohio, where OWRNC administrators infuriated veterans by removing a battlefield cross replica from the cemetery. The replica was replaced soon after Portman and Congressman Renacci’s (R-OH) office got involved. The measure is supported by the entire Ohio congressional delegation. Text of the bill can be found here.