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‘Fallen Heroes Memorial Month’ proposed in both chambers

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Honoring veterans who gave their life for America should be an entire month, not just a long weekend at the end of May, say congressmen from North Carolina and Alabama.

Fallen Heroes Memorial Month, as the legislation is known in the U.S. House of Representatives, was introduced this month by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Republican U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. The congressmen said many months of the year get rightful devotion to causes and identities, but the fallen from the Armed Forces are not among them.

“One of my constituents, retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Keith Sherman, reached out to my office with the idea that Congress designate the month of May as Fallen Heroes Memorial Month in honor our servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Bishop, who filed the resolution in his chamber. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the Americans who have bravely given their lives for our nation, and we should honor them for more than just one day each calendar year.”

Memorial Day is the last Monday in May each year, so designated by Congress in 1971 after a circuitous route. It honors those who gave their life for their country.

Its origin is via the Civil War, with the first widely observed such day May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery by the Grand Army of the Republic from within the Union sailors and soldiers. Three years earlier, on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, S.C., freed slaves gave tribute and proper burial to Union troops.

New York, in 1873, was first state to designate a legal holiday. Today, modern remembrances include a small American flag on each grave at Arlington National, and the president or vice president lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Tuberville made the filing in the Senate and said, “Memorial Day is not about grilling by the lake – it is a solemn day to remember and honor the brave men and women who have given their lives for this country. Our fallen heroes deserve to be celebrated for more than one day a year. My father served in World War II and I saw firsthand the tremendous sacrifices he made for our great country.

“If we are going to dedicate entire months to specific causes, the least we can do is designate May as ‘Fallen Heroes Memorial Month.’ I am proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Dan Bishop and look forward to spending May reflecting on the heroism of men and women killed while serving our country.”