HARRISBURG – In an effort to better honor and show respect for all of the state’s fallen veterans, Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) has co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Timothy O’Neal (R-Washington) that would require better upkeep of the graves of Pennsylvania veterans across all of Pennsylvania. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives today by unanimous vote.
“Our veterans have risked their lives to protect our country and the freedoms we hold dear,” said Owlett. “The least we can do is make sure their final resting place is properly cared for and respected. This may seem like a pretty trivial matter to some, but to the family and friends of these veterans, it is very important. The way in which we treat our veterans – fallen and living – reveals a great deal about us as a society.”
Under current law, Pennsylvania counties are required to place a U.S. flag on the graves of all honorably discharged veterans.
House Bill 233 is aimed at bringing all of our state’s counties into a uniform standard by requiring all cemeteries also remove flags when they become unsightly or weatherworn after Veteran’s Day, as well as making sure each flag is made in America. The enhanced practices currently only apply to certain counties across the state.
In addition, House Bill 233 would allow a family member to remove and keep the flag from the grave after Veterans’ Day. The bill also authorizes cemeteries to remove flags as part of the routine maintenance after Independence Day, provided that the flags are available to family members, veterans’ organizations or other community organizations to reuse the flags for display for Veterans’ Day.
House Bill 233 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
In another tribute to Pennsylvania’s veteran community, Owlett has also reintroduced his bill to designate a bridge in Troy Borough as the Troy Area Veterans Memorial Bridge. The bridge is located on Route 14 in Troy Borough, Bradford County, and runs over Fall Brook.
“Unfortunately, there was not enough time in the legislative calendar to get the bill passed into law last session,” said Owlett. “I am hopeful we can get this designation in place this year as a permanent tribute to the many local veterans who have served our great country.”
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman