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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2016

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2016-05-10

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    JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 2755, the ``Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2016,'' which allows Members and Senators, at the request of an immediate family member of a fallen emergency responder, to have a flag flown above the United States Capitol in their memory.

    As a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I am intimately aware, as are my colleagues, of the great sacrifices made by our emergency responders.

    This is why I am proud that earlier this Congress the House passed H.R. 2795, the FRIENDS Act, which I introduced.

    I introduced the FRIENDS Act because it embodied the important and fundamental idea that we have an obligation to ensure that the first responders who protect our loved ones in emergencies, have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their loved ones are safe while they do their duty.

    S. 2755 and the FRIENDS Act embody the spirit of bipartisanship that is needed in this Congress.

    These brave men and women who risk everything by running towards danger should be honored by this Congress by streamlining the process to have a flag flown above the U.S. Capitol in their memory.

    Let us not forget the 15 brave volunteer firefighters who perished in the city of West, Texas, in 2013 when a fertilizer plant exploded.

    This tragedy serves as a reminder of the risks and dangers undertaken each day by our firefighters and other first responders to keep us safe.

    Since 1996 in the city of Houston there have been 20 firefighters that have lost their lives protecting others.

    They are District Chief Ruben Lopez, Firefighter Steven C. Mayfield, Firefighter Lewis E. Mayo III, Firefighter Kimberly A. Smith, Captain Jay Paul Jahnke, Probationary Firefighter Kevin Wayne Kulow, Captain Grady Don Burke, Assistant Chief David Louis Moore, Captain James Arthur Harlow Sr., Captain Damion Jon Hobbs, Cadet Firefighter Cohnway Matthew Johnson, Captain Thomas William Dillion, Engineer Operator Robert Ryan Bebee, Firefighter/EMT Robert Herman Garner, IV, Captain Matthew Rena Renaud, Firefighter Anne McCormick Sullivan, Firefighter Daniel D Groover, Captain Dwight ``B.B.'' W Bazile, Firefighter Richard J Cano, and Cadet Steven Whitfield II.

    Since 1860, 109 Houston Police officers have fallen in the line of duty.

    In 2015 officer Richard K. Martin was killed when he was intentionally struck with a car when he was laying down spike strips during a pursuit.

    I have on many occasions requested that U.S. Flags be flown above the Capitol in the memory of fallen first responders and presented them to the family members.

    First responders are called to serve and few outside of their ranks can understand why they do the work that they do each day placing their lives in harm's way to save a stranger.

    The greatest example of the selflessness of first responders was the hundreds of fire fighters, law enforcement officers, emergency management service personnel, port authority workers, and federal officers and agents who rushed into the Twin Towers on September 11th 2001, to save lives.

    On that terrible day 366 first responders sacrificed their lives so others may live.

    Mr. Speaker, I support S. 2755 because this bill streamlines the process to have a flag flown in the memory of the fallen emergency responders in this country.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Nugent) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, S. 2755.

    The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.

    A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.


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