WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) along with Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and House Sponsor Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced legislation that would establish a new memorial in Washington, D.C. The legislation, which passed out of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week, will create a new memorial 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, and code breakers.
“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. The bipartisan legislation I joined with Senator Duckworth to recognize their efforts is now one step closer to becoming law.”
“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 pleased 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 passed out of committee, and I hope the full Senate passes it swiftly as well.”
“Women displayed strong leadership and played a vital role in keeping America running by taking on responsibilities previously held by men during World War II,” said Senator Braun. “Officially honoring their hard work and sacrifice is overdue.”
“Women have largely been ignored in the memorials on federal land in the nation’s capital, even though they played key roles in World War II,” Congresswoman Norton said. “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, and I am pleased the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed the bill. Thank you to Senator Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient herself, for leading this effort in the Senate.”
The Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act would 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.