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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Introduces Bill to Honor Veterans, Police, and Firefighters

June 1, 2021

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) today released details of legislation she is introducing, the Remembering Our Local Heroes Act. This bill will establish a federal grant program to assist communities with the construction, restoration, or maintenance of memorials honoring veterans, active-duty military personnel, law enforcement, and firefighters. The grant program, which is authorized for an initial period of five years, will provide grants of no more than $100,000 to applicants who can demonstrate strong community support and who secure matching funds from other public and private sources.

"I am honored to introduce the Remembering Our Local Heroes Act today, which will preserve the legacies of those who have sacrificed so much for our country and communities," said Congresswoman Tenney. "After the heartfelt Memorial Day ceremonies across our country yesterday, this bill is another step we can take as a nation to recognize the service of extraordinary individuals in our community and ensure their memories endure for generations to come."

Tenney was joined by New York State Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Rome Fire Chief Thomas Iacovissi, Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach, Mark Jennings and Rick Falcone.

“We owe our veterans and first responders the greatest debt of gratitude. In death, as in life, these heroes deserve nothing less than our highest esteem and a revered and sacred final resting place. I commend Congresswoman Tenney for sponsoring The Remembering Our Local Heroes Act, which will ensure that perpetual care and maintenance can be provided to the memorials and monuments that people work so diligently to create for an everlasting tribute of those we wish to honor,” Assemblywoman Buttenschon stated.

“Memorials for veterans bring communities together to honor the service and sacrifice members of the Armed Forces have made for their communities and their country. Too often communities do not have the funds to construct a memorial, or if they do, they struggle to maintain the memorial and it falls into disrepair," said Chief Iacovissi. "I would like to thank Congresswoman Tenney for sponsoring this bill, which will ensure that communities have grant funds available to help them construct and maintain these memorials.”

Chief Beach said, "I would like to thank Congresswoman Tenney for sponsoring the “Remembering Our Local Heroes Act”. It is important for us to acknowledge and remember those that have served our communities. This grant opportunity will ensure municipalities have the financial resources to build and maintain memorials to honor those that have sacrificed so much for us."

The legislation is supported by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association as well as the National Association of Police Officers. 

Additional Details of the Remembering Our Heroes Act: 

  • Authorizes $2 million annually over the course of the five years.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish the grant program within 180 days of passage.
  • Local governments and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for funds, which may be used for construction, restoration, renovation, or maintenance of local memorials.
  • Memorials can be dedicated to or commemorate veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces, law enforcement officers, and firefighters.
  • Covers veterans who served in WW1 or after.
  • The memorialized must have contributed positively to their community while demonstrating exemplary public service and/or distinguished themselves through an act of bravery.
  • Grant applicants must demonstrate strong local community support.
  • The maximum grant amount is capped at $100,000 per recipient. Recipients must also provide non-Federal matching funds of at least 50%. This ensures that any memorial receiving funds has strong community support and local funds are leveraged.