Gillen Bill Paving Way for Continued Recognition of War Heroes Headed to Governor for Signature
– There’s currently no more room to honor war heroes in the Medal of Honor Memorial Gardens at Soldier’s Grove at the state Capitol. That would change under a bill introduced by state Rep. Mark Gillen (R-Berks/Lancaster) that is one step away from becoming law.
“We want to make sure Medal of Honor recipients are accorded the recognition and appreciation they deserve,” said Gillen.
The memorial consists of a timeline marking Pennsylvania Medal of Honor recipients. Due to space and time constraints, the timeline ran out of room this year.
Gillen’s bill calls for the use of a grassy berm at the grove to continue recognizing Medal of Honor recipients.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be presented to an individual serving in the United States Armed Forces.
“This area honors heroes like Richard Etchberger, who was born in Berks County and received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War,” Gillen said.
The bill also calls for the placement of pillars, chain barriers and some signs urging visitors to respect the hallowed ground.
The plan is the result of a more than five-year long process to develop a way to continue honoring Medal of Honor recipients.
The bill was approved by the House and Senate and is headed to the governor for his consideration.
Representative Mark Gillen
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing