State Representatives David Labriola (R-131) and Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) today voted in favor of a measure before the House of Representatives which would prohibit towns, cemetery associations or ecclesiastical societies that care for cemeteries from restricting the placement of United States flags on veterans’ graves from the Saturday before Memorial Day until the Monday after July 4 each year.Should the bill, HB 5138, be passed by the State Senate and be signed by Governor M. Jodi Rell, the new law would take effect immediately.
Labriola and Rebimbas noted that while many cemeteries go so far as to actually provide U.S. flags at the grave sites of veterans interred on their premises, some have stringent restrictions about the placement of any items by grave sites including U.S. flags.
“Many cemeteries have a difficult time keeping their grounds clear and they understandably apply restrictions on what can be placed at grave sites,” said Labriola. “However, the flag of the United States placed properly beside the grave of a veteran who has served our country in the Armed Forces can hardly be considered similar to any other item which someone might place at a grave side. This bill will allow for such flag placement between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, allowing the loved ones of departed veterans to properly honor their service and sacrifice on behalf of this nation.”
“These veterans have made sacrifices for us that only those who have served and their families can fully comprehend,” said Rep Rebimbas. “The least we can do is to allow them to be properly recognized and their families to have some comfort in that recognition through the placement of the American flag at their gravesite.”
The measure was passed unanimously by the House and now heads to the Senate for action there.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly will conclude on Wednesday, June 3rd.