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President Signs Boxer Legislation Honoring Nation’s Top Military Aviators

Senator Barbara Boxer

President Obama signed the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act, legislation sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that designates the Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial at the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California, as a national memorial to recognize members of our Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves by heroism in aerial flight.

“I applaud the President for signing this bill to designate the Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial in Riverside as a national memorial,” Senator Boxer said. “This new memorial is an important way to recognize and honor the service of courageous military aviators in California and the United States.”

The bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Ken Calvert (R-CA-42) and Mark Takano (D-CA-41). Senator Boxer introduced the bill in the Senate with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), and it was successfully voted out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in May 2013. The House passed the legislation by voice vote in October 2013, followed by its passage in the Senate by unanimous consent on July 10, 2014.

The Distinguished Flying Cross – the oldest military aviation award created by Congress – is given to Americans who have performed acts of “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.” Since Congress established the award in 1926, tens of thousands of Americans have received the honor, including Wilber and Orville Wright, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, former President George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain, former Senator John Glenn, Chuck Yeager, General Jimmy Doolittle and Admiral James Stockdale. More recently, the award has been given to a number of American men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The legislation has the support of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, the Military Officers Association of America, the Air Force Association, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Association of Naval Aviation, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and the China Burma Indian Veterans Association.

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