Capitol Hill spot proposed for DC’s fallen journalists memorial

A new D.C. memorial is being planned to honor journalists killed in the line of duty. Now, a specific location has been proposed, showing exactly where the memorial will likely be built.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced a resolution Wednesday, calling for the “National Memorial to Fallen Journalists” to be located between the Voice of America building and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

The location is just west of the U.S. Capitol, in the area of 3rd Street and Independence Avenue Southwest.

“Transparency and unbiased journalism are essential in a democracy and this new memorial will be a steadfast symbol of the sacrifice of those who take on this responsibility,” Cardin said. “The men and women who personify the First Amendment rights granted to every citizen have made our nation stronger.”

The project was first authorized by Congress in 2020.

“The National Memorial to Fallen Journalists will honor the lives of those who died reporting the news and supporting the media on behalf of the American people,” Cardin said.

Cardin has been a vocal supporter of the effort to build the memorial, often citing the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Five people at the paper were killed by a man who went to the newsroom with a shotgun in 2018.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is among the lawmakers who co-sponsored the bill.

“This memorial will honor the lives of fallen journalists around the world and serve as a tribute to those who were killed here in Maryland at the Capital Gazette shooting — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters,” Van Hollen said.

“I will continue fighting to support a free press here and around the globe and to ensure we never forget the dedication of these fallen journalists.”

As Cardin introduced the new resolution, he noted that Las Vegas journalist Jeff German was killed just this month.

German was an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal who police said was killed by Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles.

German had written about bullying and favoritism in the public administrator’s office and an inappropriate relationship by Telles with a female subordinate.

Authorities said German’s investigation and follow-up stories were the motivation for Telles to fatally stab German. DNA at the scene linked Telles to the killing as did shoes and a distinctive straw hat found at his home that matched those worn by a suspect caught on video, investigators said.

Police arrested Telles after a brief standoff at his home.

“Jeff German was killed for doing his job and reporting the news wherever it led,” Cardin said. “He is the latest reporter to be a victim.”

The design of the memorial is has not been finalized yet. It will be funded by the “Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation.”

A map of the area where the memorial is being proposed to go is below.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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