Congress bestows its highest honor on WWII merchant marines

Congress SpendingWASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has bestowed its highest honor on merchant mariners who fought in World War II, almost eight decades after the conflict in which more than 8,000 of them were killed.

More than two years after Congress voted to approve the award, leaders on Capitol Hill on Wednesday awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to surviving merchant mariners, who provided equipment, food, fuel and other materials to military troops around the world during World War II.

While they suffered what was thought to be the highest per capita casualty rate in the war, they did not receive veteran status until 1988 because they are not a branch of the military.

Categories: National News