Kaptur, Latta to Speak at Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Honoring the OSS

March 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) will both participate in a ceremony honoring members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian distinction awarded in the United States. The ceremony, which was recently announced by Speaker Paul Ryans office, will be held at Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol on March 21 at 3 p.m. A single gold medal has been struck to collectively honor the members of the OSS.

The OSS was created by General William J. Donovan in 1942 to better coordinate and oversee American intelligence options, and at its peak included about 13,000 members from every branch of the military, along with civilians. It served as a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency and aided Allied forces by establishing intelligence networks, training resistance operations throughout Europe and Asia, and carrying out “mercy missions” at the end of WWII. 

“It is my deep honor to pay tribute to the brave soldiers who served in the clandestine service in defense of liberty during World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal. In awarding this recognition to the members of the OSS, America honors those who bequeathed precious liberty to us all. We must carry that torch forward as it was carried at such a great price by our forebears,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “The Office of Strategic Services was comprised of more than 13,000 noble Americans, who served our Nation during a time of great uncertainty and war. Our family’s beloved Uncle Tony, Anthony Rogowski, served in the OSS. To honor these individuals means a lot to us personally, as I am sure it does to the thousands of other families whose loved ones fought and served in the OSS. We salute you.”

“The men and women of the OSS carried out missions behind enemy lines with exemplary bravery and skill,” said Congressman Latta. “The clandestine operations of the OSS played a significant role in an Allied victory during World War II, and their actions saved countless lives. It’s time to officially recognize these heroes with the highest civilian honor our country bestows — the Congressional Gold Medal.” 

Congressman Latta was the sponsor of the legislation to honor OSS veterans with a Congressional Gold Medal, which was signed into law in December, 2016. The sponsors of the bill in the Senate, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mark Warner (D-VA) will also speak at the ceremony. 

Congresswoman Kaptur was also a sponsor of the legislation and her Uncle Anthony (Tony) Rogowski, served as a member of the OSS. He was a corporal and his medals include Army Good Conduct, American Theater Medal, Pacific Theater Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. He is buried in a simple grave at Calvary Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio, with a gravestone marker provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The ceremony can be live-streamed at speaker.gov/live. 

 

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