The Illinois Senate has approved a resolution urging President Trump, and Congress to ensure WWII heroes lie in state in Washington D.C.
A resolution approved unanimously today by the Illinois Senate seeks to extend that privilege to the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II as a tribute to all 16 million Americans, often referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” who served in our Armed Forces from 1939 to 1945.
Throughout American history, only 32 individuals have lain in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Senate Joint Resolution 50, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would urge President Trump and the United States Congress to take all necessary measures to ensure the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II be offered a state funeral, including, but not limited to, the option to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
The President of the United States has the sole authority to designate a state funeral, while Congress reserves the authority to allow an individual to have their remains lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Of the 353 Americans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of heroism during World War II, only two are alive today: Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee and Woodrow Williams of West Virginia.
The Medal of Honor, presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is conferred upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through acts of heroism at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged against an enemy of the United States.
SJR 50 will now move to the Illinois House for consideration.