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Possible national state funeral for last WWII Medal of Honor veteran

Mar 25 2020
Capital Journal

William “Bill” Casper, state chairman for the national group State Funeral for WWII Veterans, is pleased that the recent South Dakota legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 6016.

HCR 6016 was passed “Supporting the efforts of William “Bill” Casper as the South Dakota state chairman of the State Funeral for World War II Veterans in his efforts to petition President Donald J. Trump to hold a state funeral for World War II veterans.”

HCR 6016 called for President Donald Trump to hold a state funeral when the last remaining WWII Medal of Honor veteran passes.

The resolution 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.

The House of Representative passed the resolution on Feb. 25 with 69 yeas and zero nays.

The Military and Veterans Affairs adopted the resolution on March 3 with five yeas and zero nays.

The Senate concurred in the resolution on March 5 with 35 yeas and zero nays.

This last remaining WWII Medal of Honor veteran would lie in state in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC., with all the honors that go with the seven-to-10-day national event.

U.S. State Funerals are offered to all current or former presidents of the United States, president-elect and other officials designated by the president.

There were 473 WWII Medal of Honor recipients. Presently there are only two still alive.

Charles H. Coolidge, technical sergeant U.S. Army, from Tennessee, and Hershel “Woody” Williams, corporal U.S. Marine Corps, from West Virginia, are the two remaining Medal of Honor recipients.

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

Casper said that this would be a fitting final salute to the 16 million men and women of the “Greatest Generation” who served in our armed forces from 1941 to 1945.

“The passing by the legislature in support of this resolution truly represents South Dakota’s commitment to our military, past, present and future,” said Casper.