The Honorable David Dreier, Chairman of the Fallen Journalists Memorial (FJM) Foundation, issued the following statement today after President Trump signed legislation authorizing the Foundation to establish a Fallen Journalists Memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C.:
“I want to thank my former colleagues in Congress for their support of the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act and commend President Trump for signing the legislation. The memorial will honor the reporters, photojournalists, producers, editors and others who have died while performing their jobs as journalists. It will demonstrate to our citizens and to visitors from around the world that our country values a free press, honors the sacrifices of journalists and supports the family, friends and colleagues of the fallen. The Foundation looks forward to beginning a collaborative process that brings together the journalism community, freedom of the press advocates and other stakeholders to design, develop, construct and maintain a memorial of historical and lasting significance with private funds.”
The Fallen Journalists Memorial Act was unanimously approved by Congress earlier this year. It was sponsored by Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) and Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH). It was signed into law by President Trump on December 23, 2020. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the number of journalists murdered in retaliation for their work more than doubled in 2020, as criminal gangs and militant groups targeted reporters working in violent but democratic nations.