Gov. Jack Dalrymple today signed into law House Bill 1167, legislation that honors North Dakota's surviving and departed women veterans who have served and sacrificed on behalf of the United States since the American Revolution. The bill directs the Governor to issue a proclamation each year designating March as Women Veterans Month to recognize the significant role women have played in defending this nation throughout its history.
Dalrymple signed the legislation during a ceremony at the state Capitol and was joined by legislators and women veterans representing America's wars and conflicts since World War II.
"Women veterans have a long and proud history of service to this state and nation, and today, we recognize them for the integral role they have played in defending our homeland and preserving freedom around the world," said Dalrymple. "From the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, women veterans have contributed in significant ways to the defense and success of this great nation."
According to the Governor's proclamation, women have served in all of America's wars and conflicts since the American Revolution. The population of women veterans is increasing exponentially, from 1.1 million in 1980 to a projected 2 million by 2020, comprising more than 10 percent of the veteran population. North Dakota's veteran population includes more than 5,000 women.
"It's often forgotten that since the beginning of time, women have served in all wars and conflicts," said Rep. Bette Grande, primary bill sponsor. "The history of women in the military is a history of love for country, service, commitment, dedication and courage, and it includes sacrifices that have largely gone unrecognized. That is changing, and we must be part of that change."
In addition to honoring women veterans, Dalrymple also paid tribute to North Dakota's Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice. The Governor issued a proclamation designating today, March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day in the state.
"Today we honor and thank our Vietnam veterans for all they have given in service to this country, and we remember those who have lost their lives and those who have not yet made their final journey home," said Dalrymple.
The Governor's proclamations for Women Veterans Month and Vietnam Veterans Day can be found at www.nd.gov/governor.