On the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge on Monday December 16, Congressman Chris Smith (R - Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean) introduced a bi-partisan resolution to commend the veterans who fought in the battle.

Representative Smith introduced H.J.Res. 81, to commend the veterans who fought in one of the most pivotal battles of World War II, which lasted from December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945.

“The Battle of the Bulge was a critical turning point in the war, and today we honor the men and women who served in the fight and endured or succumbed in this horrific attack,” Smith, former chairman of the House Veteran’s Committee and author of 14 laws to help veterans. “It was a terrible battle, in bitter cold against superior numbers, with 19,000 Americans killed, 45,000 wounded and 23,000 captured or missing.”

The Battle of the Bulge, which took place in Belgium and Luxembourg, was a surprise attack by German forces and a last ditch attempt by Adolf Hitler to turn the war in his favor, according to the U.S. Army.

Congressman Smith said there were some 600,000 American troops, joined by 55,000 British, Belgian, Canadian and other Allied forces who fought in this bloody battle against Germany which lasted for more than a month.

American Troops helped lead the allies to victory with a great deal of defensive strategy that prevented German advance and also played a role in more than 100,000 German casualties but there were 81,000 American casualties, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“We must never forget those Americans who left their schools, farms, and factories—to fight and sometime die to make the world a safer place for democracy and freedom," Smith said. "My dad was a combat veteran in World War II, and sometimes I think of him leaving his home in New Jersey as a young man and heading out overseas to fight terrible battles to defend democracy and freedom for themselves and future generations. They’re not called the ‘Greatest Generation’ for nothing."

Congressman Smith is also the author of legislation introduced on August 5, 1999.

His legislation which was signed into law (PL 106-142) on December 7, 1999, H.J.Res.65 commended the World War II veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. 

In the 107th Congress he introduced H.R. 5055 to authorize the placement of a memorial honoring the World War II veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Arlington National Cemetery.

This bill was included in section 204 of the Veterans Benefits Act of 2002 (38 USC 2409) and was signed into law on Dec 6, 2002.

H.J.Res.81 is co-led in the House by Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) and is endorsed by Battle of the Bulge Association, Inc.

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