Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unsung Heroes

Right now, I'm watching C-SPAN and listening to Congressman Al Green (TX) comment on one of the "greatest stories never told..." He along with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) are speaking today to convince the other Congressional Representatives to pass the bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASP.

It's amazing to me that despite having been promised military status and taking the military oath, not to mention 38 of them giving their lives for our country, the WASP did not receive veteran status or any recognition for their wartime service until over 30 years after the WASP were disbanded. Now, over 60 years after their service, they are finally seen as deserving of recognition. They did not volunteer to serve their country looking for recognition and praise - but they surely deserve it.

Hmm, looks like they passed the Bill - just like that. Congressman Green closed by asking for the support of the House "if a vote is called for." The Speaker then said "The question is, will the House suspend the rules and pass S614. All those in favor say Aye (several ayes in background) all those opposed say no (crickets chirping...). In the opinion of the chair, two thirds being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the Bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table."

I wish I could have been there to see it in person (maybe along with some American Politics professor to explain everything...). Though at times it is quite boring - as evidenced by the fact that the Representatives themselves don't show up...It can actually be very interesting to visit and watch what goes on in the House of Representatives in person. I was lucky enough to get to see it a couple times while I was an Intern at the Pentagon. I actually got to see the Senate vote on increasing funding for the war. It was kind of crazy how at one point the room was pretty empty and then, within the last ten minutes, it seemed people came out of the woodwork to vote. They had cards they put into slots at their seats and then they voted. The vote is then shown on one of the walls. Once they voted some of them stayed for a few moments to talk with their colleagues and others left right away. It was a good feeling being in the room and actually watching history in the making.

So, now the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the WASP will go before President Obama for final approval and his signature. Once signed it will become a law...Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has a press release regarding the bill on her website...

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful the bill was passed, you must be feeling great!