March 26, 2015

Senators Warren and Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Bill Honoring POW/MIA Servicemembers

Bill Would Establish Commemorative Chair on U.S. Capitol Grounds

Companion Legislation Introduced in House by Congressman Lynch

Bill text is available here 

WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Marco Rubio (R - Fla.) and a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues today introduced legislation in the Senate and House to honor American servicemembers who are Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA). The National POW/MIA Remembrance Act will honor these approximately 91,662 servicemembers by establishing a permanent commemorative chair on the grounds of the United States Capitol. The legislation is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Robert Menendez (D - N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D - Ohio), Jeanne Shaheen (D - N.H.), Pat Toomey (R - Pa.), Kelly Ayotte (R - N.H.), and Edward J. Markey (D - Mass.). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives today by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.)

"All three of my brothers served in the military, and I understand the sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make to keep our country safe every single day," Senator Warren said. "We must honor those who have served our nation courageously, including those who have not made it home.  I am proud to introduce the National POW/MIA Remembrance Act to establish a commemorative chair on the Capitol grounds in recognition of these brave men and women."

"I am proud to support this commemorative act to honor the thousands of POW/MIA service members and their families, all of who have made great sacrifices for the protection and freedom of our nation," said Senator Marco Rubio, "While this can't fully express our gratitude to these brave men and women, this small act will serve as a reminder to everyone who visits the U.S. Capitol to never forget the service and sacrifices of our armed forces and their families."

"Our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action service men and women have served our country with bravery and honor. A commemorative chair in the United States Capitol will stand as a permanent reminder to their families and our nation that we will never forget their heroic service and sacrifice," said Congressman Lynch. "The U.S Capitol is a symbol of our nation's history and enduring spirit, so it is appropriate to recognize those who remain unaccounted for under its dome."

"I am humbled to be an original co-sponsor of a bill that honors our troops, especially the men and women that have devoted their lives in service to this country and have unfortunately been imprisoned or missing" said Senator Menendez. "Just as veterans reserve empty chairs to remind others of prisoners of war or those missing in action, the chair that will be placed in the U.S. Capitol will serve as a permanent reminder of all those who have endured such conditions and their courage. We are forever grateful for all those who serve to keep our country safe and hopeful for the prospect of their return home."

"America's servicemembers have made invaluable contributions to our fight for worldwide peace and democracy, and they have our gratitude," Senator Brown said. "Some of these brave men and women have been held captive or are still missing. We must never forget the sacrifice of these POW/MIA servicemembers or that of their families. This bill would ensure that the United States Capitol forever pays tribute to these heroes to whom our nation owes so much."

"We owe our men and women in uniform a tremendous debt of gratitude and we can never forget the sacrifice of those who have been prisoners of war or are missing in action," Senator Shaheen said. "The POW/MIA chair would serve as an enduring reminder of the bravery and selflessness of all POW and MIA servicemembers."

"Our service members and veterans who have ever been prisoners of war or missing in action are always in our hearts," said Senator Toomey. "Each deserves our unwavering support and appreciation for the sacrifices they have made. This POW/MIA chair is a striking symbol to recognize our wish for their safe return, and remember their sacrifice. Let us honor prisoners of war, our missing, and their families and reaffirm our commitment to account for them."

"We must do all that we can to ensure that our nation's POW-MIAs are never forgotten" Senator Markey said. "This bipartisan bill reflects that commitment and will remind Americans visiting the nation's capital of the incredible sacrifice made by those brave Americans whose fate is still unknown and the strength of the families that are left behind. I am very grateful for the work of President Joe D'Entremont and the members of the Massachusetts Chapter of Rolling Thunder to make sure that our service members receive the recognition they earned through their noble and courageous service to our nation."