“To convince the President of the United States to designate a state funeral for the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, as a final salute to the 16 million men and women of the greatest generation who served in our armed forces from 1941 to 1945.”
Sign the petition - #4Woody!
The President of the United States has the sole authority to designate a state funeral. We are leading a nationwide petition drive to convince the President to designate a single state funeral for the final Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. This event will also provide national recognition to honor all 16 million soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in our armed forces from 1941 to 1945. The time has come for a final salute to the greatest generation. A state funeral would be the perfect vehicle to do so.
Today our nation stands divided in numerous ways and yearns for a unifying national event. A state funeral is a wonderful way to bring people together while thanking the Greatest Generation who served our country to defeat Nazism, Fascism and Imperialism.
General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander of the Pacific, and General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, were each duly honored by the nation with state funerals. The selfless, brave men and women who served under them deserve the honor of special recognition at the state funeral for the final Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
As Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley said, “In the 1,364 days from Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender, with millions of Americans fighting on global battlefields, only 473 Americans were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor, the nation’s highest decoration of valor.” Today, only four of those Americans remain.
U.S. State Funerals are offered to all current or former Presidents of the United States, President-elect and other officials designated by the President.
Like the funeral of President George H.W. Bush in 2018, a State Funeral is a 7 to 10 day national event. It consists of ceremonies within the state where the honoree was in residence. Ceremonies within Washington, DC and ceremonies in the state (or at Arlington National Cemetery) where the authorized individual has chosen to be interred. All funeral arrangements are made by The U.S. Military District of Washington, DC. and involve Armed Forces honor guards, elite military bands, and / or guns support (source WhiteHouse.gov website). The last two State Funerals were Ronald Reagan in 2004 and George Bush in 2018. The last non-Presidential State Funeral was General Douglas MacArthur in 1964.
WHAT LEADERS SAY ABOUT US
"Now we have a renewed focus to honor the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient with a State Funeral. There are only two left and they are all in their 90s. I hope they live a lot longer. Ultimately we are working so that the last one will receive a state funeral to honor all those who served in World War II. " - Rep. Steve Scalise, (R-La.)
“I am proud, as a Texas State Senator, a veteran and a first-hand witness to the 9-11 attacks, that our state is among the leaders in the country to advance this initiative. A State Funeral for the last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient is a proper way to bid a final farewell to those brave men and women who preserved freedom on earth.”- Sen. Brian Bridwell, Texas State Senator
"Our center is dedicated to one of the three remaining MOH recipients from WW II, Charles Coolidge. We strongly endorse the mission and efforts of Mr. McNutt and the State Funeral for World War II Veterans to call for a State Funeral in Washington for the final World War II Medal of Honor holder.” - Keith Hardison, CEO, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center
“During that time in America’s history, it is amazing how The Greatest Generation stepped up to the plate to fight for the freedom our country believes in. The citizens of this nation were behind the cause, as the 16 million men and women carried out our military mission in WWII. It is up to our generation to show gratitude to that great generation for the example they set for all generations to follow. Every time the most powerful, intelligent and compassionate U.S. military force stands up for peace in this world, it is the actions of the WWII Veterans who set the bar for the defense of democracy.” - James McCloughan, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient
LIKE UNCLE SAM, WE NEED YOU!
*SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION. Follow and share our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @worldwar2salute and use #worldwar2salute
*SHARE YOUR WWII VETERAN'S STORY. We love hearing and sharing all veteran's stories on our website and social media. Please click HERE to share.
*STATE CHAIRS / BOARD. We are recruiting patriotic leaders in all 50 states. To nominate a State Chair please click HERE and to nominate a State Board Member please click HERE.
*REQUEST SPEAKER. Does your American Legion Post, VFW Chapter, Rotary Club or other organization need a speaker? Please click HERE.
*VOLUNTEER. We need the help and support from all communities. To volunteer click HERE.
Consider for a moment the men and women, many of them only teenagers, who years ago wrote letters from flyspeck Pacific islands to homes thousands of miles away. If they could find the time and energy to write, so can you. Please join us and sign the petition to the President to make this honorable mission a reality.
CONGRESSIONAL & STATE LETTERS OF SUPPORT
Montana Congressional Letter
Utah Congressional Delegation Letter
to President Trump
In a letter to President Trump dating from December 18, 2018, Utah Congressional Delegates support the cause of a State Funeral for the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient. The letter is signed by United States Senators Orrin G. Hatch and Mike Lee, and by Members of Congress John Curtis, Mia B . Love, Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop.
Full text of the Utah Congressional Delegation Letter to President Trump: Utah-delegation-state-funeral-letter.pdf
Idaho Congressional Delegation Letter supporting State Funeral for World War II Veterans' work!
Tennessee Congressional Delegation Letter
to President Trump
Minnesota Congressional Delegation Letter
to President Trump
In a letter to President Trump dating from May 22, 2019, Minnesota Congressional Delegates add their support in calling for a non-presidential State Funeral for the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient. The letter is signed by United States Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and by Members of Congress Collin C. Peterson, Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer, Ilhan Omar, Pete Stauber, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips and Jim Hagedorn.
Full text of Minnesota Congressional Delegation Letter to Pres. Trump: Minnesota-Congressional-Delegation-Letter.pdf
Louisiana Congressional Delegation Letter
to President Trump
In a letter to President Trump dating from June 27, 2019, Louisiana Congressional Delegates add their support, asking the President to designate a single state funeral for the last Medal of Honor Recipient from WWII and the 16 million men and women who served.The letter is signed by United States Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, and by Representatives Steve Scalise, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Ralph Abraham, Garret Graves, and Cedric Richmond.
Full text of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation Letter to President Trump: Lousiana Congressional Delegation Letter.pdf
One-Hundredth National Convention
Of The American Legion
Resolution No. 41
In Resolution No. 41 the National Convention of the American Legion support the cause of a State Funeral for the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient.
Full text of Resolution No. 41: American-Legion-Resolution-No-41.pdf
Missouri Congressional Delegation Letter
to President Trump
In a letter to President Trump dating from February 20, 2019, Missouri Congressional Delegates support the cause of a State Funeral for the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient. The letter is signed by United States Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and by Members of Congress Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sam Graves, Wm. Lacy Clay, Jason Smith, Ann Wagner and Emanuel Cleaver.
Full text of the Missouri Congressional Delegation Letter to President Trump: Missouri-Congressional-Delegation-Letter.pdf
Arkansas Congressional Delegation Letter
Texas Senate Resolution No. 69
To President Trump
The 86th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby respectfully urges the President of the United States to designate a state funeral for the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
Full text of the Texas Senate Resolution No. 69 to President Trump: Texas-Senate-Concurrent-Resolution-No-69.pdf
Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 112
To President Trump
In the Concurrent Resolution No. 112 the State of Louisiana urges and requests the President of the United States to designate a state funeral for the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II when such recipient passes away. The resolution is signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Taylor Francis Barras and the President of the Senate, John Alario.
Full text of the Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 112 to President Trump: LouisiannaStateResolution2019.pdf
Missouri State Resolution Letter
House Concurrent Resolution No. 69
In State Resolution No. 69 to President Trump, Missouri State Representatives support the cause of a State Funeral for the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient.
Full text of the Missouri State Resolution No. 69 to President Trump: Missouri-State-resolution-No-69.pdf
Tennessee State Resolution Letter
Senate Joint Resolution No. 96
In Senate Joint Resolution No. 96 to President Trump, Tennessee State Representatives support the cause of a State Funeral for the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient.
Full text of the Senate Joint Resolution No. 96 to President Trump: Tennessee-Senate-Joint-Resolution-No-96.pdf
HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION
Sgt. Walter D. Ehlers
At its core, State Funeral for World War II Veterans is about your family’s story. Perhaps that is the story of an unmarried teenager on a cramped boat with thousands of other Marines, shipping off to Iwo Jima. Perhaps it is the story of a woman in her twenties, a member of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP), or of a military nurse treating a wounded soldier from the Battle of the Bulge or Omaha Beach.
Texas elementary school student Rabel McNutt was blessed to have Mr. Walter D. Ehlers as a godfather who was the oldest holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor at the time of his death. The New York Times wrote the following on February 21, 2014, one day after he died: “Walter D. Ehlers, who received the Medal of Honor for his exploits as an Army sergeant in the D-Day invasion of France and came to personify the heroism of the G.I.s who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, died on Thursday in Long Beach, Calif. He was 92.”
Rabel McNutt had never been to a military funeral, so her father, Bill McNutt, showed her YouTube videos of the state funerals of President Ronald Reagan and General Douglas MacArthur. As they watched, Rabel turned to her father and asked, “Are they going to do a big funeral in Washington D.C. for Uncle Ehlers and his friends?” Somewhat awestruck at his daughter’s idea, McNutt replied, “They should! Let’s see what we can do.” From the mouth of a child the idea was born to convince the President of the United States to designate a single state funeral for the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
LIVING WWII MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS
Charles H. Coolidge
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army
Hershel Woodrow Williams
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
"Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On 27 October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods."
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service."