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House passes bill to memorialize veterans online

President Donald J. Trump stands in the House of Representatives chamber delivering his State of the Union address, Joined by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan, on Jan. 30, 2018. (D. Myles Cullen/White House)

The U.S. House has passed Rep. Conor Lamb’s bill that would create a grant process for students to participate in a federal program that works to ensure that those buried at veterans cemeteries are not forgotten.

House Resolution 2385, introduced by Lamb, D-17, Mount Lebanon, in April and co-authored by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1, Bucks County, passed 409-1 on Wednesday, with the only no vote coming from U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who switched to independent in July.

Under the bill, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would be authorized to establish grants to conduct cemetery research and produce outreach materials for the Veterans Legacy Program, according to a release from Lamb’s office.

The bill would change the legacy program to a grant-based system rather than a government contract process so it is “more user-friendly” for universities,” Lamb’s release said.

The program is an educational outreach initiative by the National Cemetery Administration to memorialize veterans by sharing their stories online. The cemetery administration works with students, teachers, schools and universities to research veterans buried in its cemeteries to learn their service histories and contributions.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania is home to the National Cemeteries for the Alleghenies, and we already have local schools signed up and ready to research every veteran that is buried there,” Lamb, a Marine Corps veteran, said in his release. “This is a great program and we are looking to do everything we can to simplify the process to make it easier to participate and honor the lives and sacrifices of our service members.”

Fitzpatrick, who visited Penn State-Beaver with Lamb in August, said he wants Bucks County schools to participate in the program because the county is home to the Washington Crossing National Cemetery.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line for this country,” Fitzpatrick said, “and it is incredibly important that their stories live on for generations to come.”


© 2019 the Beaver County Times