Only a few select people have lain in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. The honor is usually saved for the top military heroes and statesmen. Senator Andy Manar is trying to change that. A resolution approved last week by the Illinois Senate, and led by Senator Manar would extend that privilege to the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
Senate Joint Resolution 50 would urge President Trump and Congress to take all necessary actions to ensure that the last recipient be offered a state funeral and the option to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Manar expressed his gratitude in a statement. “An understanding of the Greatest Generation’s immeasurable sacrifice is something that all Americans share, and it’s something that has the power to unify Americans in a way that transcends our current divisions. It would block out the political noise of the day and bring us together in reverence of the intrepid Americans who fought and died to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of hope and a blueprint for democracy across the globe.”
Only two Medal of Honor recipients from WWII out of the 353 who were awarded are still alive, Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee and Woodrow Williams of West Virginia. You can find out more about their stories and how they earned their medals by clicking here and here.
SJR 50 will now move to the Illinois House for consideration.