In a display of bipartisanship, leaders from both parties in the House and Senate came together to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Merchant Mariners of World War II.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy all attended the Wednesday morning ceremony.
The House and Senate voted in 2020 to award members of the Merchant Mariners a Congressional Gold Medal. The bill was signed by President Donald Trump on March 13, 2020.
“Throughout the Second World War, our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to ferry supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters of operation, and they paid a heavy price in service to their country,” said Rep. John Garamendi, a California Democrat. “The Merchant Marine suffered the highest per capita casualty rate in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. An estimated 8,300 mariners lost their lives, and another 12,000 were wounded, to make sure our servicemembers could keep fighting. Yet, these Mariners who put their lives on the line were not even given veteran status until 1988.”