Representatives Urge State Funeral for Last Surviving WWII Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18) – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Congressmen Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), and John Rose (R-Tenn.) urged President Joe Biden to designate a state funeral for the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient. Only the President can bestow such an honor.

The entire Tennessee Congressional delegation is urging President Biden to honor the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient with a state funeral:

Honoring the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient with a state funeral would serve as a final salute to his gallantry, and to the service and sacrifice of all those who fought during WWII. A state funeral is the highest honor that can be posthumously granted to an American citizen. It is fitting then, that this distinction be bestowed upon a veteran who earned the military’s highest honor while fighting to preserve the freedom on which this nation was founded.

There are only two Medal of Honor recipients from WWII that are living today:

As you read this letter, only two Medal of Honor recipients from WWII are living today: U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Charles Coolidge of Tennessee, and U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Hershel “Woody” Williams of West Virginia.

You can read the full letter here or below.

Dear Mr. President,

We write today to request the designation of a state funeral for the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. 

Between 1941 and 1945, men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds answered the call to serve during the deadliest conflict in human history. Many Americans risked their lives in defense of freedom, but just 472 exceptional men were recognized with the Medal of Honor. Among the Greatest Generation, the actions of these few Americans earned them the highest military distinction.

As you read this letter, only two Medal of Honor recipients from WWII are living today: U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Charles Coolidge of Tennessee, and U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Hershel “Woody” Williams of West Virginia. 

In 2020, the State Funeral for World War II Veterans presented Mr. Williams with the George Marshall Award, for exemplifying the sacrifice and service of the 16 million women and men who served in our Armed Forces during the Second World War. On March 19 of this year at the Medal of Honor Museum in Chattanooga, TN, the 2021 George Marshall Award will be presented to Mr. Coolidge. As these warriors continue to advance in age, we urge you to take decisive action to honor their heroism.

Honoring the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient with a state funeral would serve as a final salute to his gallantry, and to the service and sacrifice of all those who fought during WWII. A state funeral is the highest honor that can be posthumously granted to an American citizen. It is fitting then, that this distinction be bestowed upon a veteran who earned the military’s highest honor while fighting to preserve the freedom on which this nation was founded.

Leave a Comment