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HomeNewsMontana NewsZinke Introduces Bipartisan Flowers for Fallen Heroes Act

Zinke Introduces Bipartisan Flowers for Fallen Heroes Act

Modernizes ABMC’s flower delivery and payment system for foreign gravesites of fallen heroes.

(WASHINGTON, D.C) Today, Congressman Ryan Zinke  introduced bipartisan legislation named The Flowers for Fallen Heroes Act with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA-04) and Congressman Donald G. Davis (NC-01) which allows those wishing to lay flowers on the graves of fallen heroes who are interred at American military cemeteries overseas to do so through the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) jurisdiction. The bill mandates the creation of a user-friendly website and payment system that accepts credit cards for payment, finds reasonably priced vendors in proximity to the gravesites, urges the ABMC to market the program, and requires the ABMC to submit a yearly report to Congress on its progress.

The ABMC had traditionally facilitated the purchase and placement of flowers on American servicemembers graves overseas, however a recent decision was made by the ABMC, a federal commission, to end that service. This bill would formally create the flower program and ensure the long-term availability of the service to loved ones and those who honor our veterans.

“We’re talking about troops that have laid their lives down on the other side of the world so we can live in freedom here in the United States,” said Zinke. “There’s no way to fully repay those folks for their sacrifices, but we can help their families honor them with a few simple changes here at home. I am proud to lead this bipartisan group of lawmakers to modernize the ABMC program, thank them for their support and look forward to seeing the program in action.”

“Our servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country earned the gratitude and recognition of all Americans, regardless of where the servicemembers are buried,” said Thompson. “The Flowers for Fallen Heroes Act will make it easier for Americans to order flowers for the graves of our fallen servicemembers buried in Europe. Proud to work on this important bipartisan bill with my Republican colleague Rep. Ryan Zinke.”

The Bill: 

1. Formally authorizes the ABMC’s flower ordering program.

2. Mandates the creation of a user-friendly website and telephone ordering system that accepts credit cards for payment so customers can find cost-effective and convenient flowers for gravesites.

3. Requires the ABMC to submit yearly reports to Congress.

Current Co-sponsors: Mike Thompson (D-CA-04), David G. Valadao (R-CA-22), Donald G. Davis (D-NC-01), Michael Waltz (R-FL-06), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), Stephanie I. Bice (R-OK-05), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-AL), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), Richard McCormick (R-GA-06), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Michael Guest (R-MS-03), James R. Baird (R-IN-04), Clay Higgins (R-LA-03), Troy E. Nehls (R-TX-22), Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ-02), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04), Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND-AL), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-05), Alexander X. Mooney (R-WV-02), Neal P. Dunn (R-FL-02), Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI-03), Nancy Mace (R-SC-01), Mike Ezell (R-MS-04), Keith Self (R-TX-03), Cory Mills (R-FL-07), Chuck Edwards (R-NC-11), John H. Rutherford (R-FL-05), Ken Calvert (R-CA-41), Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Andrew S. Clyde (R-GA-09), Jennifer Kiggans (R-VA-02), Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R-NJ-07), Pete Stauber (R-MN-08), John R. Moolenaar (R-MI-02), Michael Lawler (R-NY-17)

Organizational support: The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Honor Flight Network, American WWII Orphans Network, America’s Warrior Partnership, Navy SEAL Foundation, Blue Star Families, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Background: The ABMC was established by an Act of Congress in 1928. Its mission is to be a guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials and honor the service, achievements, and sacrifices of U.S. Armed Forces who fought on foreign soil. They operate 26 American military cemeteries and 31 federal memorials located in 17 foreign countries. In 2015, the ABMC ended the Flower Fund program, leaving those with relatives or friends interred in American military cemeteries on foreign soil to navigate the flower securing and laying process on their own.

Press release provided by Congressman Ryan Zinke

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