Washington, D.C. –  Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing examining H.R. 6118 – Congressman David Rouzer’s bill to designate and recognize the city of Wilmington as the first nationally recognized “American World War II City.”  Due to the hard work and dedication of Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., USNR (Ret.), a Wilmington native, distinguished author and veteran active in the community, the idea and introduction of this bill came to fruition.  Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., testified on behalf of the bill during the hearing.

“Our region is fortunate to have Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., advocating on behalf of the great city of Wilmington to be recognized for its enormous contributions during World War II,” said Congressman David Rouzer.  “The city of Wilmington was regarded as the defense capital of the state during this period with major industries such as shipbuilding, fertilizer plants, agriculture, manufacturing and clothing factories supporting the efforts of the American military.  Today’s hearing brings the city of Wilmington one step closer to receiving the recognition it so richly deserves.”

“Following twenty years of working to preserve our region’s World War II history, ten of which have been devoted to designating the great city of Wilmington as the first ‘American World War II Heritage City,’ I am more confident than ever after today’s hearing that we will achieve our goal,” said Captain Wilbur Jones.  “My testimony on Congressman Rouzer’s bill not only strengthened our position to see the bill through but also brought national attention and awareness to our efforts.  On behalf of the World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition, I thank Congressman Rouzer for his continued steadfast support and leadership.  I look forward to the House of Representatives passing Congressman Rouzer’s bill so that it can head to the Senate for its consideration.”

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Congressman David Rouzer and Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr.

H.R. 6118 directs the Secretary of the Interior to designate at least one city in the United States each year with this illustrious title.  These cities will be designated due to their significant contributions to the war effort and their work preserving the history of WWII.  If passed by Congress and signed into law, the city of Wilmington would be the first “American World War II City.”

During the 114th Congress, H.R. 1721 passed the House of Representatives via H.R. 677, the American Heroes COLA Act of 2015, which provided for annual cost-of-living adjustments to be made automatically by law each year. The legislation was not passed in the U.S. Senate however.  Those bills that did not become law during the 114th Congress had to be reintroduced in the 115th Congress to be considered again.  Congressman Rouzer re-introduced the bill, which was designated as H.R. 6118, in March of 2017.

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Congressman David Rouzer introducing Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr.

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Captain Wilbur Jones testifying in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

To view the archived hearing, please click here.