Portman, Brown, Gonzalez Announce Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act Signed Into Law

January 9, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) announced that President Trump signed into law their bipartisan Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act. This law will allow fallen heroes to be honored at their gravesite with a replica of the Battlefield Cross. The Battlefield Cross is a memorial marker typically consisting of a soldier’s helmet, rifle, identification tag, and pair of boots that serves to honor and respect servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  The bill passed the House of Representatives in November and passed the Senate in December.

“The Battlefield Cross is an important symbol of the service and sacrifice of thousands of fallen American heroes both in combat zones and here at home,” said Portman. “I applaud President Trump for signing this legislation into law in order to help ensure that veterans buried in Ohio and around the country can be properly honored with the Battlefield Cross. These memorials stand as a constant reminder of the cost of our freedom.”

“The battlefield cross is a sacred tradition of American servicemembers, and government bureaucracy shouldn’t keep Ohio veterans and their families from honoring those who served with this powerful symbol,” said Brown. “Let’s ensure that this tribute can continue at all national veterans’ cemeteries.”

“The Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act came directly from the advocacy of Northeast Ohio veterans, like Elton Boyer, who not only served our nation proudly but continued to stand up for veterans and servicemembers throughout our community every day. I look forward to continuing my work with our veteran community to ensure our country does everything it can to give back to those who defend it,” said Gonzalez.

NOTE: The legislation responds to a 2017 incident at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery (OWRNC) in Rittman, Ohio, where OWRNC administrators infuriated veterans by removing a Battlefield Cross replica from the cemetery. The replica was replaced soon after Portman and former Congressman Jim Renacci’s (R-OH) office got involved. The measure is supported by the entire Ohio congressional delegation. Text of the bill can be found here.