May 25, 2021

Duckworth, Blackburn, Braun Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Establish Memorial Commemorating Efforts of Women On The Home Front During WWII


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator and combat Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Airland Subcommittee, and U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Mike Braun (R-IN) re-introduced bipartisan legislation today to 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.

“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 to be re-introducing this bipartisan legislation today that will honor their efforts and help ensure better representation for women in the cherished, world-renowned memorials in our nation’s capital.”

“There are over 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, which is why I’m joining Senator Duckworth in introducing this bipartisan legislation.”

“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,” said Representative Norton. “My 17-year old constituent, Raya Kenney, the founder of the Women Who Worked on the Home Front Foundation – yes, her own foundation – came up with the idea to honor the women on the home front who supported the World War II effort. Raya wondered why the women on the home front, whose efforts were critical to the war effort, such as codebreakers and the women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) who flew military aircraft so men would fly overseas, have not received much recognition for their contributions compared to the men who fought bravely in World War II.”

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. U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-01) sponsored bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.