Should Female WWII Pilots Have A Place At Arlington Cemetery?
A group of approximately 1,000 female pilots, known as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), served during World War II under the command of the United States Army Air Forces. They flew noncombat missions so that male pilots could fly more in combat, they test-flew aircraft, and they helped train combat pilots during live ammo sessions.
But now, according to Fox News, a decision to allow their ashes to be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia back in 2002 has recently been reversed.
The Army, which runs the cemetery and is tightening restrictions on who is allowed in the cemetery over space concerns, has determined that WASPs should be included with "active duty designees" like Merchant Marines, who are no longer ineligible. Deceased WASP Elaine Harmon's family says the space needed is minimal, and space concerns are not as great as they used to be since most WWII veterans have already passed on.
Texas Woman's University history professor Kate Landdeck has strong words for the Army's decision: "[WASPs] are a distinct group of women with the surviving 100-or-so women all in their 90s. It is just mean-spirited for the Secretary of the Army to question their value to their country. Again."
What do you think?