- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) — A first-term Florida congresswoman is introducing a bill Thursday to allow families to bring home to the United States the remains of fallen World War II soldiers buried in France and Belgium.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., said she had found two co-sponsors for her bill that is intended as a rebuke to their opposition to the prospects of a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

She said she came up with the idea after talking to Ken Graham of Dade City, Fla., whose father is born in Alsace-Lorraine, France.

He told her he and other Americans are unhappy with France and would like to bring his father's body home.

"I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today," Brown-Waite said.

"The remains of our brave servicemen should be buried in patriotic soil, not in a country that has turned its back on the United States and on the memory of Americans who fought and died there," she said. "It's almost as if the French have forgotten what those thousands of white crosses at Normandy represent."

The French opposition to the possible war in Iraq has already prompted cafes in Congress to change the names of French fries and French toast.

Spokeswoman Natalie Loiseau of the French Embassy in Washington said it is unfortunate that some in the United States are ignorant of the perspective of the French people.

"It is really unfortunate that some in this country know so little about France and the feelings of the French people," Loiseau said. "No one in France can understand these thoughts.

"No one having responsibility should do such things," she said.

The bill, planned for introduction Thursday, is co-sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill.

Families of 81,172 service men interred in 14 cemeteries operated by the U.S. military would be affected.

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