WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senator and combat Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) that would establish a new memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the contributions of the estimated 18 million women who helped keep our nation’s economy and society running during World War II by working as pilots, engineers, taxi drivers, letter carriers, code breakers and more was recently signed into law by President Biden. The legislation was co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Mike Braun (R-IN) and in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). The concept for this memorial came from Raya Kenney, who has been advocating tirelessly for it for more than a decade.
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“It’s long past time we recognize the contributions hardworking women made during World War II—they rolled up their sleeves and took whatever job was necessary to keep the country they loved moving forward,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud this bipartisan legislation that will honor their efforts and help ensure better representation for women in the cherished, world-renowned memorials in our nation’s capital is now law.”
“There are more than 160 monuments in Washington, D.C., but not a single one celebrates the 18 million women that worked on the home front during World War II,” said Senator Blackburn. “Their sacrifice and trailblazing work must not be forgotten. I am glad this bipartisan legislation with Senator Duckworth to recognize their efforts is becoming law.”
“Women have largely been ignored in the memorials on federal land in the nation's capital,” said Congresswoman Norton. “My constituent Raya Kenney, the founder of the Women Who Worked on the Home Front Foundation, came up with the idea to honor these brave women who supported the World War II effort. I am pleased the Senate passed the bill. Thank you to Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, for leading this effort in the Senate.”
The Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act will also recognize the important role these women played in expanding economic opportunity for future generations of women. Between 1941 and 1945, the female portion of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent.
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