Vet Voice Applauds President Obama, Congressional Leaders on Designation of Pullman as National Monument

The Vet Voice Foundation applauded  and thanked President Obama, Senators Kirk, Durbin, Congressmen Kinzinger, Shock and Rodney Davis for their bi-partisan efforts to designate the area of Pullman, Illinois a National Monument. Pullman commemorates several key moments in African American and labor history. Designed as a planned community for employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company, a railroad car manufacturer best known for its “sleeping car,” Pullman first became synonymous with the nascent labor movement in the 1890s, when federal troops clashed with striking workers.

In the 1920s, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was founded in the area as an independent union, with the aim of fighting to secure livable wages and better working conditions for porters. The company fought the union fiercely, but in part due to the struggle of the Brotherhood and other groups, the labor movement became an impossible-to-ignore force on a national stage. In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act was passed by Congress, barring company-sponsored unions and guaranteeing workers the right to organize. The Brotherhood also planted the seeds of the mid-20th century civil rights movement, underscoring the importance of protest and fighting for the (sadly oft-ignored) American ideal that all men are created equal.

For its role in these seismic social shifts, Pullman has enjoyed “landmark” status for decades, as local communities and historians worked to raise its profile on a broader stage. In recent years, the neighborhood has even become a popular bipartisan cause. In addition to saluting an important chapter in American history, national monument standing is expected to bring a much-needed economic boost to the community, potentially supporting hundreds of jobs and eventually generating $40 million in sustained economic output.
The Vet voice applauds the designation of this monument for the opportunities for Veterans and their families for employment and enjoyment it will provide, as well as to the general public. 
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