Bill to Honor U.S. Merchant Mariners of WWII Introduced
Rep. John Garamendi introduced House Resolution 550, aka the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, in Congress Tuesday.
The bill aims to award a Congressional Gold Medal to merchant mariners who served in World War II. The Gold Medal is one of the highest honors awarded in the United States.
“Throughout the Second World War, our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to ferry supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters of operation, and they paid a heavy price in service to their country,” said Garamendi.
“The Merchant Marine suffered the highest per capita casualty rate in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. An estimated 8,300 mariners lost their lives, and another 12,000 were wounded, to make sure our servicemembers could keep fighting. Yet, these Mariners who put their lives on the line were not even given veteran status until 1988,” Garamendi added.
“The time has come for our nation to provide a well-deserved thank you and honor the remaining Merchant Marine Veterans of WWII with a Congressional Gold Medal,” said Christian Yuhas, Vice President of American Merchant Marine Veterans and a Chief Engineer Merchant Marine.
The Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act was introduced in the Senate simultaneously by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The bill is currently awaiting action by the House Financial Services Committee.