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House passes resolution to honor WWII Medal of Honor recipients

Feb 26 2020
Morgan Matzen | Rapid City Journal

The South Dakota Legislature has passed House Concurrent Resolution 6016, which will petition President Trump to hold a state funeral when the last remaining World War II Medal of Honor veteran passes.

The resolution supports the efforts of William “Bill” Casper, of Rapid City, state chairman for the State Funeral for World War II Veterans organization.

U.S. State Funerals are offered to all current or former presidents of the United States, president-elects and other officials designated by the president. The honored veterans would lie in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C., and honored in a seven- to 10-day-long national event.

Of the original 473 WWII Medal of Honor recipients, two are still living: Charles H. Coolidge, a Technical Sergeant of the U.S. Army from Tennessee; and Hershel “Woody” Williams, a Corporal of the U.S. Marine Corps from West Virginia.

Sgt. Coolidge received his Medal of Honor during combat near Belmont sur Buttant, France on Oct. 24, 1944. Corporal “Woody” Williams received his Medal of Honor in combat on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945.

Casper said this resolution — which was introduced in the House by District 32 Representative and U.S. Senate candidate Scyller Borglum and in the Senate by District 11 Senator Jim Stalzer — would be a fitting final salute to the 16 million men and women of the “Greatest Generation” who served in the armed forces from 1941 to 1945.