In the News
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) this week joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act to honor first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice.
The legislation would amend the U.S. flag code to allow the governor of a state to order the American flag to be lowered to half-staff in the event that a local first responder dies while serving in the line of duty. Currently, governors only have the ability to order the flag to fly at half-staff after the death of a government official or the death of a member of the armed forces during combat.
“The police officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect us deserve not only our gratitude but also our recognition,” Moran said. “This legislation will make certain that state leaders are empowered to honor and recognize the sacrifices of our first responders. As we commemorate National Police Week, we reflect on ways to show our appreciation — flying our flag at half-staff to honor those who have given their lives is a simple way to begin.”
The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act is supported by police officers and firefighters from across the nation.
“Everyday our law enforcement officers act heroically to save and help people they have never met before from all walks of life,” said President of the Fraternal Order of Police Chuck Canterbury. “These officers take an oath to protect and service their communities to make it a better and safer place for all those that live there. They are even willing to lay down their lives in the service of others.”
“First responders knowingly place their lives in jeopardy to preserve the lives of others. Sadly, not all of these first responders return to their families and homes,” said President and Chairman of the International Association of Fire Chiefs John D. Sinclair. “This simple yet effective and profound action will allow residents across the United States to honor first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“Every community across America relies on firefighters and emergency medical technicians to respond to a variety of emergency situations. Sadly, more than 100 times annually, these dedicated emergency responders pay the ultimate price by selflessly giving their very life for the service and protection of their community,” said President of the International Association of Firefighters Harold A. Schaitberger. “The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act is an important piece of legislation that recognizes the sacrifices made by our emergency response professionals.”
The bipartisan bill is also supported by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Association of Police Organizations, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Volunteer Fire Council, National Honor Guard Commanders Association, National Honor Guard Academy and National Fire Academy Alumni Association.
National Police Week started on Sunday, May 14, and ends on Saturday, May 20.
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