Congressman Cleaver Announces Bipartisan WWI Valor Medals Review Act With Reps. Hill, Graves, and Houlahan

Apr 18, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) today announced the introduction of H.R. 2249, the World War I Valor Medals Review Act, a bipartisan bill that would review military records of minority servicemembers of the Armed Forces during World War I to determine whether they should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Introducing the bill alongside Congressman Cleaver are Congressman French Hill (R-AR), Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO), and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

“This piece of legislation has been a long time coming,” said Congressman Cleaver. “For over a century, American heroes who served in WWI have gone unrecognized for their courageous and selfless acts during the Great War strictly because of America’s sad history of discrimination. With this bill, we have an opportunity to right this wrong for servicemembers who are deserving of our military’s highest honor and the families who are entitled to their relative’s story. I’m thankful for the bipartisan support we have received and will continue working to ensure these veterans receive the recognition they deserve.”

Since being elected to Congress, Congressman Cleaver has been an avid supporter of WWI veterans and commemoration efforts. In 2013, the World War I Centennial Commission (WWICC) was created through an act of Congress that was sponsored by Representative Cleaver and former Representative Ted Poe (R-TX). The WWICC’s mission is to honor, educate and commemorate soldiers and participants of WWI. Last year, Cleaver was proud to announce the approval of $7 million in funding for the WWICC, so that the commission could continue educating Americans on the “war to end all wars” and honor the more than 4 million men and women who served. Furthermore, Congressman Cleaver was the co-author of the WWI American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The coin was struck in November of 2017. Just last month, Congressman Cleaver introduced H.R. 1953, the ‘Hello Girls’ Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, which would award over 230 women who served as telephone operators in France during WWI the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.

“At a time when much of America wanted to stay out of world affairs, more than 4 million men and women answered the calls of duty to defend the freedom of allies abroad. It’s important their stories of bravery and sacrifice in the face of tyranny are passed down to future generations,” Congressman Cleaver said. “The veterans of WWI may no longer be with us, but we can never allow them to be forgotten.”

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Indpendence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matthew Helfant at 202-225-4535 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.