The first bill would rename the post office in Dana, Indiana, after Ernest ‘Ernie’ T. Pyle, the celebrated war correspondent and Hoosier journalist who was born near Dana. On April 18, 1945, Pyle was reporting on the U.S. Army’s 305th Infantry Regiment when he was killed. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Senator Young previously introduced three resolutions designating August 3rd as National Ernie Pyle Day. Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) led the introduction of similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The second bill would rename the post office in Kokomo, Indiana after Opha May Johnson, the first American woman to join the Marines. Johnson was was born in Kokomo in 1878. She began her service on August 13, 1918 during World War I and continued serving until her retirement in 1943. A companion bill has not yet been introduced in the House of Representatives. Senator Young and Braun’s letter of support can be read here.
“Our efforts to rename two post offices after two great Americans and Hoosiers has cleared the Senate and is one step closer to the finish line. Ernie Pyle was a celebrated war correspondent who made a lasting impact on American journalism with his Hoosier work ethic, while Opha May Johnson served our country proudly during a critical time in our country,” said Senator Young. “I’m proud to have worked alongside my Indiana colleagues to help advance these bills and pay tribute to Ernie and Opha’s impact on Hoosiers.”
“Opha May Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the USMC and dedicated much of her life to serving our country. Ernie Pyle created a new form of journalism dedicated to telling the stories of the common man and woman with his trademark wit and Hoosier plainspeak, and cemented his legacy as one of America’s greatest writers with his harrowing reporting on the common soldier during World War II. I’m proud to help commemorate these two great Hoosiers by renaming Post Offices in Johnson’s hometown of Kokomo and Pyle’s hometown of Dana in their honor,” said Senator Braun.