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Rest in Peace

Cloonen-sponsored legislation extends buffer for military funerals

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 9:28 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD, IL – To allow families of fallen soldiers to mourn in peace, legislation sponsored by state Representative Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee) increasing restrictions on protests at military funerals recently passed out of the Illinois House.

“Our soldiers deserve to rest in peace and their families deserve to grieve without harassment,” said Cloonen. “These hateful political protests are misguided and have no place in our communities.

“Our military men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice and we have a responsibility to them and their families to lay them to rest with the respect and dignity they deserve.

“This legislation can help ensure our fallen soldiers are laid to rest without any disrespectful distractions.” Cloonen is the chief co-sponsor of House Bill 2916, which extends the buffer zone for military funerals to 1,000 feet. Currently, funerals are protected within a 300-foot line from the funeral site’s entrance and exit points.

Cloonen’s measure also extends the time frame when protests cannot be held to one hour before and one hour after the service.

“Unfortunately, there are those individuals who choose to abuse military funeral services to gain unwarranted attention to themselves and I want to make sure that military families have a buffer to protect them from these hateful actions,” Cloonen said.

“With these stronger protections in place, we can better honor their sacrifices, their lives, and allow their friends and families to mourn in peace.”

The 79th District includes all or portions of Aroma Park, Beecher, Bonfield, Bourbonnais, Braceville, Bradley, Buckingham, Cabery, Chebanse, Coal City, Diamond, East Brooklyn, Essex, Gardner, Herscher, Hopkins Park, Irwin, Kankakee, Limestone, Momence, Peotone, Reddick, South Wilmington, St. Anne, Sun River Terrace and Union Hill.

For more information, please contact Cloonen’s constituent service office at (815) 939-1983 or by email at staterepcloonen79@att.net.

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