WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, today led Senate passage of the Gold Star Families Voices Act (H.R. 4511). The bill expands the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress, which currently collects and catalogs stories from American veterans, to include narratives from family members of service members who are missing in action or who have been killed in the line of duty. As chairman, Blunt expedited consideration of the bill in committee.
“We would not be the nation we are today if not for the profound acts of courage and selflessness of our fallen heroes,” Blunt said. “We, as Americans, owe it to these men and women to know their names, to honor their deeds, and to preserve their memories. The Gold Star Families Voices Act makes an invaluable project even better by giving the family members of our missing and fallen service members the opportunity to share their stories and ensure they become a part of our nation’s historical record. I thank American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. and Representative Chris Smith for championing this bill, and my Senate colleagues for getting it to the president’s desk.”
The measure was authored by Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.) in the House, where it passed with unanimous consent in September.
Smith added, “Today’s vote honors the men and women who gave ‘the last full measure of devotion’ in the service of our Nation by allowing their family members to tell their stories, so that all Americans can hear, appreciate, remember, and honor these patriots. I greatly appreciate the hard work of my good friend and colleague, Chairman Roy Blunt, in securing Senate passage today to ensure we record and remember the lives and sacrifices of all who have served and provide the very deserving family members with the opportunity to create a lasting record of their fallen loved ones.”
Becky Christmas, Second Vice President, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., continued, “The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. is grateful for Chairman Roy Blunt’s efforts to secure Senate passage of the Gold Star Families Voices Act today and his leadership to give our children a voice that they no longer have. The Gold Star Families Voices Act will ensure that the experiences and lives of all veterans, including our sons and daughters who fought and died for our country, are remembered, honored and preserved.”
To date, the Veterans History Project has collected the oral history records of over 100,000 veterans who have served in military engagements since World War I.
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