State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) spoke at a press conference on Veterans Hill Day in Albany on March 14, 2011. Senator Zeldin was discussing his legislation to ban protests at Military Funerals (S.3901). The legislation will be named the “The Specialist Thomas Wilwerth Military Dignity Act” in honor of Specialist Thomas Wilwerth, an Iraq War Veteran who lost his life in combat in 2006.
This act will prohibit protests within 2,500 feet of military services, funerals, and processions of deceased service members unless the protest organizers post a bond to the local municipality to defray the increased security costs associated with demonstrations that occur closer to these funeral activities. In no case would protesters be permitted within 500 feet. The protestors will also have to apply for a permit with the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
“The Specialist Thomas Wilwerth Military Dignity Act” passed the full State Senate on March 14, 2011. The bill is sponsored in the New York State Assembly by Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C- East Patchogue).