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The long-sought recognition for America’s merchant mariners who served during World War II has sailed through the House of Representatives.

With a unanimous vote on September 19, the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act passed. The MTD and its affiliates have supported this bipartisan effort.

The legislation authorizes the creation of a gold medal to honor the Word War II merchant mariners. The medal would be displayed in the American Merchant Marine Museum at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York. Duplicates then would be struck and made available to the public.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), the bill’s sponsor, stated, “The time has come for our nation to provide a well-deserved thank you and honor the remaining merchant marine veterans of World War II with a Congressional Gold Medal. This group of unsung heroes nobly served our country by operating the ships that transported critical supplies to the front lines of the war.”

The congressman added, “One out of every 26 casualties during World War II was a volunteer merchant mariner. America would not be the great nation it is today without their valiant service of yesterday.

“I’m pleased that this bill has passed the House and I will work to ensure it passes the Senate and becomes law,” he concluded.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced that body’s version of the measure. Like the House bill, it has strong bipartisan support.