The pressure to let female WWII pilots into the Arlington National Cemetery is growing. The action has been called upon recently by 24 U.S. senators to reverse the current policy which bans female WWII pilots’ ashes to be placed in the Arlington National Cemetery.
The female pilots were part of the wartime effort who flew military aircraft in non-combat roles to allow male pilots to partake in combat missions. Congress labeled the WASPs as civilians until a reversal of policy in 1977 when Congress granted them military status.
For many years, the women were allowed to have their ashes memorialized at Arlington alongside fellow veterans. This was up until last year when the Army changed its position, stating the WASPs should have never been let in the cemetery. Cemetery officials had concerns over the limited space in the cemetery.
The senators rallied behind Georgia Republican, Johnny Isakson and Democratic Richard Blumenthal as they urged Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy to restore eligibility to the WASPs.