Lawmakers seek to create memorial to fallen journalists

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting that killed five people at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have introduced legislation that would authorize a national memorial to fallen journalists. The privately funded memorial would be constructed on federal lands within the District of Columbia and would honor reporters, photographers and broadcasters killed in the line of duty.

“Journalists risk their lives every day,” Gene Policinski said.

Policinski, the president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute and Newseum affiliate, says the victims ought to be remembered for more than just the crime committed against them.

“I think there’s a strong desire for these people here to be remembered for more than a line on the wall, or for that one second which they were victim, but as whole people who had a career, but also another life,” Policinski said.

Policinski says they were people who lived rich lives. He says the resiliency of their surviving colleagues publishing a paper the next morning inspired many.

“People were motivated to go there on our behalf and report to us the things we need to have to live our lives,” Policinski added.

“That day will always be in our mind,” Cardin said.

Cardin says the legacy of the Capital Gazette victims must live on.

“It’s right that we have a memorial to the fallen reporters, the fallen journalists who were part of the struggle to build this great democracy,” he said.

The Newseum already has its own memorial that honors fallen journalists, but the lawmakers want something on the national mall for all to pay tribute to and honor them.

“This was an idea about two months ago,” Cardin added. “We now filed bipartisan legislation in both the House and the Senate. I am very hopeful that we’ll be able to get the Congress to act.”

If authorized by Congress, Cardin says the monument would be privately funded.

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