Springfield, Ill – Last week Illinois State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) successfully advanced a bill designed to protect the historical graves of our nation’s Veterans. HB 4934, an initiative stemming from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), seeks to amend the Human Remains Protection Act to provide enhanced protection for those wishing to maintain and preserve our Veterans’ graves.

“I am honored to champion HB 4934, a bill that reflects our unwavering commitment to honoring the legacy and sacrifices of our Veterans,” stated Representative Kifowit. “As a US Marine Corps Veteran myself, ensuring the dignity and respect of our fallen heroes is a cause close to my heart. This legislation serves as a critical step towards preserving the memory of those who have served our nation.”

HB 4934 proposes amendments to the Human Remains Protection Act to address the protection and maintenance of graves belonging to Veterans who passed away over 100 years ago. If identified as a Veteran’s remains, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will permit Veterans’ organizations, such as the VFW, to place markers on these graves. Additionally, in the unfortunate event of damage or destruction to these graves, the Veterans’ organization may undertake necessary repairs or replacements after making a good faith effort to contact the next of kin.

“Honoring a Veterans grave should never be reduced to placing a flag on a pile of dirt and rubble on Memorial Day,” said Naperville VFW Post #3873 Senior Vice Commander Staci Boyer. “Witnessing this process that represented 35 veteran graves ignited the Adopt a Veterans’ Grave Project, uniting communities to honor our heroes. Collaborating with Naperville cemetery officials, and community businesses we have navigated legal complexities while ensuring respect for burial rights. Through HB4934, we seek to grant our Veteran Service organizations authorization to help navigate refurbishment hurdles and honor those who served. Together, let’s ensure no veteran’s sacrifice is forgotten. Thank you for considering our mission.”

The VFW has been instrumental in advocating for this initiative, particularly through their “adopt a Veteran’s grave project”. However, one of the significant challenges faced has been locating next of kin to obtain permission for the maintenance of these historical graves. HB 4934 aims to address this hurdle by granting Veterans’ service organizations the authority to intervene and maintain these graves when warranted.

With the successful passage of HB 4934 out of the House, the bill now awaits consideration by the Senate before it heads to the governor for his signature.

For further information or media inquiries, please contact the Office of Representative Stephanie Kifowit at 630-585-1308 or stephanie.kifowit@att.net.


Rep. Stephanie KifowitRep. Stephanie Kifowit

84th District

Visit Rep Kifowit’s website

Springfield Office:
200-7S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8028

District Office:
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Ste. 116
Aurora, IL  60504
(630) 585-1308
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