UTICA, NY – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is introducing legislation that would provide funding to memorials that honor the military and first responders.
As Karina Gerry of our sister station in Utica shows us, it would provide 2 million dollars per year nationally for the creation and upkeep of the memorials.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney was joined by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon and members of the Rome Fire Department and Police Department at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Rome where she introduced her new bill, the Remembering Our Local Heroes Act.
“We’ve been struggling to try and find resources to support our local governments especially through the pandemic, so many of these local governments haven’t had the resources to give the proper recognition posthumously to these people and remember them as this beautiful park has done,” says Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.
The Bill will establish a Federal Grant Program to assist communities with the construction restoration or maintenance of memorials honoring veterans, active duty military personnel, law enforcement and firefighters.
The program will be authorized for an initial period of 5 years and will provide grants of no more than $100,000 to applicants who can demonstrate strong community support and who can secure matching funds from other public and private sources.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to make this memorial even better than it is now and memorials across our region.”
There are over 800,000 veterans in New York State alone.
269,000 of them served in Vietnam, yet it took over 20 years to get the Vietnam Veterans Memorial constructed in Rome.
“That was our biggest concern, was perpetual care so I hope to God it goes through cause then we can all move on in the world and know it’s being taken care of and it’s going to stay the way it is when we’re finished we are trying our hardest to make it as perfect as possible with the funds we have,” says President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Rick Falcone.
Tenney is hopeful that they can get the Bill done before Veterans Day, but she admits that it is an ambitious timeline.