CHARLESTON, WV –
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice hosted the family of a fallen solider and West Virginia native at the Governor’s Mansion for a private ceremony as he ceremoniously signed a bill that will allow public school facilities to be used for funeral and memorial services for members of the military.
As Gov. Justice signed Senate Bill 154
, he was surrounded by the mother, godparents, and brother of Army Specialist Nicholas Jividen. The graduate of Poca High School died in November at age 21 as a result of injuries sustained in a training exercise at Fort Irwin in California.
Jividen’s death highlighted that state code did not include a formal policy allowing public schools to host funeral or memorial services. With Gov. Justice signing SB 154, county school boards will now be required to allow school facilities to be used for these types of services for certain community members, such as members of the military or first responders.
“It’s truly my great honor to be able to sign the Specialist Nicholas Caleb Jividen Act into law,” Gov. Justice said. “We have so many brave men and women from West Virginia, like Specialist Jividen, who serve our country and some pay the ultimate sacrifice.
“Allowing our communities to come together in honor and remembrance of these incredible individuals is the very least we can do to repay them for their heroic service to our state and nation,” Gov. Justice said. “I am humbled to be the governor who gets to sign this into law and I hope that it provides some level of comfort to all of our military families.”
Senator Glenn Jeffries, who was the lead sponsor on SB 154, joined the Jividen family and Gov. Justice for the bill-signing ceremony.