Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority of her Senate colleagues in supporting bills to award Congressional Gold Medals – the highest civilian award in the United States – to veterans of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the U.S. Army Rangers who served during World War II.
“Awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Merchant Mariners and also to the U.S. Army Rangers who served during WWII is long past due. From the unsung heroism of the Merchant Marines to the dauntless bravery of the elite Army Rangers, their gallant actions changed the course of history. I’m proud to cosponsor these resolutions to honor their legacy of sacrifice, courage and service to our country.”
During World War II, U.S. Merchant Mariners supplied Allied troops with the vital food, supplies and arms they needed to survive. This civilian volunteer force with the U.S. Merchant Marine bore a higher per-capita casualty rate than any other branch of the military during WWII, with 1 in 26 men dying in the line of duty. The Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act is a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and is cosponsored by over 70 Senators.
The elite U.S. Army Rangers participated in some of the toughest, most important battles of WWII, from D-Day to liberating over 500 prisoners of war from camps in the Philippines. The bipartisan United States Army Rangers Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and is cosponsored by over 70 Senators.