Female World War II pilots can now be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
On May 20, President Barack Obama signed a law clarifying the eligibility of these women for such honorable burial.
In the past, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were denied the honor of having their remains interred in the said famous cemetery.
The White House said the move of the president is necessary to give honor to the survivors of the Greatest Generation, including the first pilots, who were on active duty during WWII.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines authored the bill to allow female WWII pilots to be qualified for burial at the said cemetery.
On May 11, the Senate unanimously approved the bill, which in turn was sent to the U.S. Congress.
The next day, the bill was passed on to the president’s desk for signing, without opposition from the House of Representatives.
“This is a wrong that needed to be made right and I’m proud to be part of restoring benefits to our WWII women pilots who trained right here in Montana,” said Daines, adding that the signature of the president will allow the female pilots to attain the honor that has always been due to them.
A Look Back At History
WASPs were trained to relieve male pilots in noncombat missions. They were given veteran distinction in 1977 and were then considered eligible for interment at Arlington National Cemetery in 2002.
In 2015, however, Army Secretary John McHugh took back the said policy and cancelled the eligibility of the female pilots. The reason was conflict in space availability.