The House of Representatives today reversed a shocking decision by U.S. Army leadership that rescinded the rights of Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, to have their remains buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
This group of nearly 1,100 female pilots flew non-combat missions during WWII. Their service came at a time of great need and 38 of them died carrying out their duties. The Army’s decision was one that dishonors the service of some of our country’s pioneering women military pilots and the House voted to advance legislation that would reinstate inurnment rights.
This distinguished group included Genevieve Rausch of Hillsborough, who served as a WASP pilot and was part of a team that collectively gave tremendous service to the United States – so significant in fact that it earned the Congressional Gold Medal.
At a time when we are opening all positions to women, the Army is closing Arlington to the pioneers who paved the way for female pilots to serve in uniform. Their story needs to be told and their rights restored.
This injustice cannot stand and our legislation to reverse this decision passed with unanimous support. Women Airforce Service Pilots deserve to be laid to rest in our Nation’s most hallowed military cemetery.
Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07)