The Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation Founder and Chairman the Honorable David Dreier today issued the following statement regarding the House and Senate passage of the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill: “Thanks to my former colleagues for approving, as part of the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, the location of the Fallen Journalists Memorial adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, DC.
“For the past three years, sponsors Ben Cardin, Grace Napolitano, Tom Cole, Rob Portman and Chris Van Hollen have led this effort. This will allow us to build the memorial at the center of the nation’s capital. It will commemorate our country’s commitment to a free press by honoring journalists who have sacrificed their lives. This memorial will educate and inspire current and future generations to come.”
“The First Amendment right to free press is foundational to who we are as a nation and our democracy. With this memorial, we will honor the lives of those who died reporting the news and supporting a free media on behalf of the American people,” said Senator Cardin. “The National Memorial to Fallen Journalists will be a steadfast symbol of the sacrifice of those who take on the responsibility of transparency and accountability that is inherent in free and open media. These men and women have made our nation stronger.”
“A free and open press is essential to our democracy, and I’m pleased we are one step closer to authorizing placement of the National Memorial to Fallen Journalists,” said Senator Portman. “This memorial will serve as a fitting tribute to the men and women in journalism who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the First Amendment.”
“We count on the press to deliver the facts and keep the public informed – their role is essential to any functioning democracy. But, at times, carrying out this duty has come at a tremendous price, costing reporters their lives – here in Maryland, around the country, and across the globe. We have a moral obligation to honor their sacrifices by reaffirming our commitment to protect the freedom of the press. This memorial will help do just that,” said Senator Van Hollen.
The language approved as part of the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Act, authorizes the location for a commemorative work honoring fallen journalists that will maintain the “commitment of the United States to a free press by honoring the journalists who sacrificed their lives in service to that cause.” The memorial will be located on federal lands in “Area I” as determined by the Secretary of the Interior. The Fallen Journalists Memorial (FJM) Foundation will provide funding to the National Park Service or General Services Administration to construct and maintain the memorial.