Saturday, February 13, 2010

286 WASP Survive, of 1100 Who Served

According to Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) there are 286 surviving WASP. (1100 served, 36 were killed in the line of duty, one committed suicide on the one year anniversary of the WASP being disbanded.)

An informal survey showed about 100 (each in their 80s or 90s) are planning on making the trip to Washington DC to attend the ceremony on March 10, where:

The group will be belatedly honored in the Rotunda in the U.S. Capitol on March 10. President Obama signed a bill last July that collectively awarded all 1,100 WASP, alive and deceased, the Congressional Gold Medal.

It's the highest civilian honor that the government can bestow on an individual or group. George Washington was the first recipient and only 146 more have been given since then. The diverse list includes Mother Teresa and Walt Disney, Arnold Palmer and Dr. Louis Salk, Nelson Mandela and Harry Chapin.

The U.S. Mint is making one Gold Medal that will be revealed at the March ceremony and then donated to the Smithsonian Institution for permanent display. Bronze medal replicas will be given to each WASP survivor, all of them in their 80s and 90s, or to a designated relative.


Yesterday I shared the link where people can donate, if they choose, to help defray the expenses of these women and/or a family member to go to Washington DC to accept this long-overdue medal.

It's a tough time out there - with people losing their jobs, or afraid of losing their jobs, and worry about what the goverment is going to do to us next...but it's a worthy cause...so if you've got any discretionary funds, consider donating. I gave $25 (which is the minimum increment they ask for.)

Indeed, there are a lot of aviation-themed projects that need our help, from the WASP to the Tuskegee Airmen. Let's get together as an aviation community and keep their memories alive!

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