HARRISBURG – The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee approved legislation that would designate March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and October 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day in the Commonwealth, according to the bill’s sponsors, Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), Doug Mastriano (R-33) and Cris Dush (R-25).
Sgt. Harold Redding of Spring Grove, York County, brought the issue to the attention of his local state senator, Phillips-Hill, who sponsored similar legislation last session alongside Representative Seth Grove (R-196).
More than 2.5 million Americans served and over 6,000 Americans, including 324 Pennsylvanians, made the ultimate sacrifice over these two conflicts the senators are seeking to recognize annually.
Under Senate Bill 248, the governor would be required to issue a proclamation on the days specified in the measure to encourage, but not mandate, schools to observe and conduct exercises recognizing the contributions of the veterans who served in these two conflicts.
“This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11. This bill will ensure we forever remember those veterans who served in the Global War on Terrorism, as well as the Persian Gulf War,” Phillips-Hill said. “We can never say thank you enough to these brave men and women who served our nation.”
“Our veterans have sacrificed much to secure our freedoms and to defend our way of life. The United States has faced diverse treats since the end of the Cold War, beginning with Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) in 2001 and Iraqi Freedom in 2003,” Mastriano said. “The scope and extent of these three wars has reached into the core of the military community and especially those who either were casualties or gave the last full measure of devotion. As a veteran of both Desert Storm and Afghanistan, I support this endeavor as it is our solemn duty to remember the citizens of our Commonwealth who served the nation. Setting aside a day to honor their selfless service and dedication to duty in time of war. They were there when the nation called, and we must never forget what they did for our nation and our freedoms. We must never forget their service and sacrifice.”
“I am humbled to be able to sponsor this bill that will recognize my brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces that have defended our freedoms and the ones that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” Dush said.
The Commonwealth currently recognizes World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Senate Bill 248 advances to the full Senate for its consideration.