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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 524

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 01/28/2019 02:58pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A resolution
urging the President to designate a state funeral for the last surviving World War II
Medal of Honor recipient.

WHEREAS, World War II, the most widespread war in history, lasted from 1939 until 1945;
and

WHEREAS, the United States entered the war in 1941, following an attack on Pearl Harbor
by Japanese fighter planes; and

WHEREAS, over 16 million Americans served their country and the Allied powers over the
course of the war; and

WHEREAS, the generation of men and women who served our country in World War II has
been called the "greatest generation" for their selfless sacrifice; and

WHEREAS, the Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that is awarded by the
United States government; and

WHEREAS, the Medal of Honor is presented by the President of the United States, in the
name of Congress; and

WHEREAS, the Medal of Honor is only conferred upon members of the United States Armed
Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life
above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States,
while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while
serving with friendly forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which
the United States is not a belligerent party; and

WHEREAS, more than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded to our nation's bravest
soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen since the creation of the award in 1861;
and

WHEREAS, the Medal of Honor was awarded to 353 Americans during World War II; and

WHEREAS, only four of those 353 Americans are alive today; and

WHEREAS, Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee, Francis S. Currey of New York, Robert D.
Maxwell of Oregon, and Hershel Woodrow Williams of West Virginia all served their country with
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life and therefore deserve the gratitude of the
American people; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has the sole authority to designate a state
funeral; and

WHEREAS, historically, the President of the United States has designated state funerals for
former presidents, generals, and other extraordinary Americans; and

WHEREAS, our nation is currently divided and yearns for a unifying national event; and

WHEREAS, designating a state funeral when the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor
recipient dies would be a wonderful way for the American people to unite and honor all 16 million
soldiers, sailors, and airmen who served in our Armed Forces from 1941 to 1945; NOW,
THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it urges the President
of the United States to hereby designate a state funeral for the last surviving World War II Medal
of Honor recipient.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is directed
to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United States, the
President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United
States House of Representatives, the chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the chair
of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and Minnesota's Senators and Representatives in
Congress.