Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0357
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Full Text of HR0357  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, World War II, the most widespread war in history,
3lasted from 1939 until 1945; and
4    WHEREAS, The United States entered the war in 1941,
5following an attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese fighter
6planes; and
7    WHEREAS, Over 16 million Americans served their country
8and the Allied powers over the course of the war; and
9    WHEREAS, The generation of men and women who served our
10country in World War II has been called the "greatest
11generation" for their selfless sacrifice; and
12    WHEREAS, The Medal of Honor is the highest military
13decoration that is awarded by the United States government;
15    WHEREAS, The Medal of Honor is presented by the President
16of the United States in the name of Congress; and
17    WHEREAS, The Medal of Honor is only conferred upon members
18of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves
19through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of



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1life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action
2against an enemy of the United States, while engaged in
3military operations involving conflict with an opposing
4foreign force, or while serving with friendly forces engaged
5in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which
6the United States is not a belligerent party; and
7    WHEREAS, More than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded
8to our nation's bravest soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines,
9and coast guardsmen since the creation of the award in 1861;
11    WHEREAS, The Medal of Honor was awarded to 353 Americans
12during World War II; and
13    WHEREAS, Only one of those 353 Americans is alive today;
15    WHEREAS, Hershel Woodrow Williams of West Virginia is the
16last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II; he
17served his country with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
18at the risk of life and therefore deserves the gratitude of the
19American people; and
20    WHEREAS, The President of the United States has the sole
21authority to designate a state funeral; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States may pass a
2Concurrent Resolution to allow an individual to lie in state
3in the rotunda of the United States Capitol; and
4    WHEREAS, Historically, the President of the United States
5has designated state funerals for former presidents, generals,
6and other extraordinary Americans; and
7    WHEREAS, Our nation is currently divided and yearns for a
8unifying national event; and
9    WHEREAS, Designating a state funeral when the last
10surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient dies would be a
11wonderful way for the American people to unite and honor all 16
12million soldiers, sailors, and airmen who served in our Armed
13Forces from 1941 to 1945; therefore, be it
16we urge the President of the United States and the Congress of
17the United States to take all necessary measures to ensure the
18last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II be
19offered a state funeral, including, but not limited to, having
20the option to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States
21Capitol; and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
2delivered to the President of the United States, the President
3and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and
4the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the
5chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the chair
6of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Illinois
7Congressional Delegation.