WASHINGTON (WJZ) — President Donald Trump has signed legislation that will create a memorial in the nation’s capital remembering fallen journalists, including those gunned down in a shooting in Annapolis in 2018.
The president signed H.R. 3465, the Fallen Journalist Memorial Act, into law on Wednesday, the White House said.
It will allow for the creation of a privately-funded memorial on federal lands to honor journalists, photographers and broadcasters killed on the job, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, said in a joint statement announcing its passage.
The bipartisan bill got unanimous approval from the Senate last month.
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“The free media, one of the pillars of our nation, is under attack figuratively and literally across America,” Cardin said in the statement. “Too many, including five innocent souls lost in the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, gave everything they had in defense of democracy, transparency and freedom. This new memorial will honor the lives of those who died reporting the news and supporting the media on behalf of the American people. It will be a steadfast symbol of their sacrifice and the fragility of our democracy. Those who personify the First Amendment rights granted to every citizen have made our nation stronger.”
Sen. Portman said the memorial “will serve as a fitting tribute to the men and women in journalism, including those from the Capital Gazette, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the First Amendment.”
Five members of the Capital Gazette newsroom were killed in the 2018 shooting: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
Earlier this month, Winters was posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal for heroism for charging at the gunman, Jarrod Ramos, with recycling and garbage bins, telling him to stop and trying to protect her colleagues.