Larson's Honoring Hometown Heroes Act Passes the House
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act (HR 1892) passed the House of Representatives 411-1.
"Passage of this bill is a meaningful victory for our first responders and their loved ones. I want to especially thank Jim McLoughlin, a veteran Hartford firefighter who brought this to my attention.
“We all so vividly remember firefighters running up the stairs of the World Trade Center, while others were coming down to safety, or when we all witnessed police officers and EMTs running towards the blasts, to help the injured during the Boston Marathon Bombing. Whether it’s a national emergency or medical emergency, these brave men and women are the first to answer the call. They are the nation’s first line of defense of our laws, freedoms, lives and communities. Paying tribute to the service of those fallen first responders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is the least we can do," said Larson.
Larson first introduced the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act in 2011 in the 112th Congress. This bill allows the governor of a state or territory (or the Mayor of the District of Colombia), to order the lowering of the flag to half-staff if a first responder dies in the line of duty. This legislation has been supported by major national first responder organizations, including all three of the congressional first responder caucuses. Larson reintroduced this bill in April with help of the lead cosponsors, Reps. Peter King (NY-02), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Dave Reichert (WA-08), Tim Walz (MN-01), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), John Rutherford (FL-04), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), and Raul Grijalva (AZ-03). On May 11th, Senator Jon Tester (MT) introduced a companion bill (S 1108) in the Senate.
The flag code was last amended in 2007 by the Army Specialist Joseph P. Micks Federal Flag Code Amendment Act (Public Law 110-41) that expanded the criteria when a Governor can order the flag to be lowered to half-staff to include members of the Armed Forces who die while serving on active duty.
International Association of Fire Fighters; International Association of Fire Chiefs; Congressional Fire Services Institute; Fraternal Order of Police; Sergeants Benevolent Association; Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association; National Association of Police Organizations; National Fallen Firefighters Foundation; Major County Sheriff’s Association; National Volunteer Fire Council; National Honor Guard Commanders Association; National Honor Guard Academy; National Fire Academy Alumni Association; California Fire Foundation; Illinois Fire Chiefs Association; Ohio Fire Chiefs Association; Virginia Fire Chiefs Association; and Local Assistance State Teams (LAST) in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Virginia.
More information on the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act can be found here.