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Hirono, Moran Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Memorialization and Burial Benefits for Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the Honoring Veterans’ Legacies and Burial Benefits Enhancements Act to improve memorialization and burial benefits for veterans and their families.

“At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, alone, there are more than 50,000 veterans laid to rest,” said Senator Hirono. “These veterans have unique, but too often untold stories—stories that deserve to be shared now and into the future. Among other things, the Honoring Veterans’ Legacies and Burial Benefits Enhancements Act will help to ensure those stories are told and preserved, enabling people across the country to better honor the memory of our veterans and their service.”

This legislation would establish a nonprofit entity that would be able to accept private donations to be used to fund the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP). VLP issues grants to educational partners to conduct historical research projects on veterans buried in national cemeteries in their communities to then share those veteran stories through educational programming. This legislation would also make certain veteran burials are dignified and honorable, while also enhancing current burial benefits for dependents and historical Medal of Honor recipients.

This legislation is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Association for State and Local History, American Legion, National Council on Public History, and the American Federation of Teachers.

The full text of the bill is available here.

As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Hirono has consistently worked to support veterans in Hawaii and across the country. In November, President Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation led by Senator Hirono—the Korean American VALOR Act allows veterans who served in the armed forces of the Republic of Korea during the Vietnam War, and have since become naturalized U.S. citizens, to become eligible for healthcare services through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In December 2022, President Biden also signed into law a bill introduced by Senator Hirono to create a new VA Advisory Committee to advise on matter relating to veterans residing in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.