Louisiana Delegation champions effort to honor WWII vets

1322

WASHINGTON – The Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation has reached out to President Trump, asking him to designate a single state funeral for the last Medal of Honor Recipient from WWII and the 16 million men and women who served.

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Representatives Steve Scalise (R-LA), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Garret Graves (R-LA), and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) issued the request following the remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion to liberate Europe.

The inspiration for this funeral came from Texas student Rabel McNutt, the goddaughter of Sgt. Walter D. Ehlers who was the most senior Medal of Honor recipient when he passed away. This request is supported by the State Funeral for WWII Veterans Foundation which was created to advocate for this funeral service honoring “The Greatest Generation.”

“Although all of Louisiana’s Medal of Honor Recipients have now passed, we are determined to honor and remind the nation of their bravery,” wrote the Louisiana congressional delegation. “Patriotism runs in our blood and we are always proud to do our part in the fight for freedom. We are so deeply proud of our service men and women and what they have accomplished and will continue to accomplish for generations to come.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear President Trump,

It is a great honor to write to you on behalf of countless Louisiana Veterans, and at the request of the State Funeral for World War II Veterans Foundation. The mission of this organization is to designate a single state funeral for the last Medal of Honor Recipient from World War II and to honor all 16 million men and women who served from 1941 to 1945.

Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to 472 World War II Service Men and Women. Charles H. Collidge, Francis S. Currey, Robert D. Maxwell and Hershel W. Williams are the last remaining Medal of Honor Recipients. These patriotic individuals are the embodiment of sacrifice for the World War II era. As you indicated in your State of the Union address, this year will mark 75 years since the beginning of the liberation of Europe, and their service and dedication is exactly why they are referred to as “The Greatest Generation.”

The inspiration for this distinctive ceremony came from a student in Texas named, Rabel McNutt. Rabel is the goddaughter of Sgt. Walter D. Ehlers, who was the most senior recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor at the time that he passed away. He personified heroism as an Army sergeant during the D-Day invasion as he, along with so many others, stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. After viewing state funerals held for President Reagan and General Douglas MacArthur, Rabel felt compelled to advocate for a state funeral honoring Sgt. Ehlers and his brave brothers and sisters in arms. Soon thereafter, the State Funeral for World War II Veterans Foundation came to fruition.

Although all of Louisiana’s Medal of Honor Recipients have now passed, we are determined to honor and remind the nation of their bravery. Patriotism runs in our blood and we are always proud to do our part in the fight for freedom. We are so deeply proud of our service men and women and what they have accomplished and will continue to accomplish for generations to come. For this reason, we can think of no greater tribute than to honor the last of our national heroes of “The Greatest Generation” with a state funeral.