WASHINGTON, DC - On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) will be joined by leaders of the U.S. House and Senate to present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of members of the Civil Air Patrol whose valor and dedication saved countless lives during World War II.  Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Senator Harkin and Congressman McCaul introduced the legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Civil Air Patrol. The legislation passed the Senate in May 2013 and the House in May 2014. Their bipartisan bill received unanimous support and was signed by the President into law in May 2014.

"As the Commander of the Congressional Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, I am happy that the World War II members will receive this overdue recognition. Thousands of volunteers, many too young or too old to serve in the active military, took their own, often rudimentary, aircraft into the skies at great risk to themselves and successfully cleared the American coastline of enemy U-boats," said Harkin. "Between that mission, search and rescue missions, and even towing targets for live fire target practice, CAP helped us win the war and saved countless lives. I can think of no more fitting award for these men and women than the Congressional Gold Medal, and I am honored to have introduced this legislation."

"Decades after the end of WWII, it is long overdue and altogether fitting that Congress finally bestows this honor upon the WWII members of the Civil Air Patrol. The valiant efforts of these brave men and women who volunteered to defend our coastlines, provide essential combat support services, and fly dangerous humanitarian missions in America during World War II embodies the American Spirit of volunteerism. As the son of a WWII bombardier, this honor is especially significant," said McCaul. "I had the opportunity to meet with Jayne Price, a 92 year old member of the Civil Air Patrol earlier this year. I was impressed by her tales of perilous flights and inspired by her love for her country. This Gold Medal has been well earned by all members of the Civil Air Patrol, and I thank them for their dedication and service to our country."

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.


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