In the News
May 24 2016
By Alexandra Miller
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Gray D.C.) - Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) will now be able to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The president signed the bill into law Friday after it moved rapidly through Congress.
Erin Miller of Maryland brought the bill to the House after her grandmother Elaine Harmon was denied entry. "Its not the funnest thing to have to ask Congress to pass a law to bury your grandmother,” she said. But after starting a petition on change.org and asking friends, neighbors and total strangers for their signatures, Miller’s bill picked up traction.
WASPs are thought by many to be the unsung heroines of World War Two. "They set the standard for their male counterparts,” said Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. “They taught them how to fly they allowed those male colleagues to go off to war."
But because of their non-combat roles, they were unable to be interred at Arlington. Harmon left her family a letter saying her last wish was to be at Arlington. The new law allows WASPs and a slew of other groups to be interred at Arlington’s above ground plots. Around 104 WASPs are still alive and many have opted out of Arlington.
At one point in time, WASPS were allowed to be interned at Arlington, but a Pentagon decision had reversed that decision. With the President's signing of the law, it allows the measure once again.