Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), a member of the State Senate Committee of Homeland Security, Veteran and Military Affairs, is today announcing that he joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate in approving legislation (S. 56), that would establish the crime of demonstrating at cemeteries under the control of a governmental entity as well as the crime of disturbing a funeral or memorial service.
The legislation, named the "Respect for New York’s Fallen Heroes Act", would make the crime of demonstrating at National Cemetery Administration, New York State, or municipally-owned cemeteries a class E felony. Further, this legislation will make the disturbance of a funeral or a memorial service a class A misdemeanor, but repeat offenders would be charged with a class E felony.
Senator Marty Golden stated, "It is time that we stand up for those who have served our nation so proudly. To disrespect those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can live in freedom, is by far the most disgraceful act one could engage in. It is sad that we must even legislate such a law, but there are individuals that have required us to seek such legislation. All veterans must be buried under our flag and with dignity. For all they have done for us, that is the very least we can offer as a grateful nation."
In the past couple of years, a number of state legislatures as well as Congress, have passed legislation prohibiting funeral disturbances. These new laws were enacted in response to protests that occurred at the funerals of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.
Ralph A. Mottola, of the Brooklyn "Key" Chapter of New York of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, stated in strong support of Senator Golden’s legislation, "Any person or persons who willfully comports themselves in any manner contrary to good order, or exhibits disruptive behavior at any such event should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Eli Linden, of the Brooklyn "Key" Chapter of New York of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, continued "I have read the bill that would stop the disturbances at the burials of our brave heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan. As a veteran, I heartily endorse the passage of this bill."
The bill was sent to the Assembly.