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WASP Elaine Harmon Will Finally Be Buried at Arlington

WASP Elaine Harmon Will Finally Be Buried at Arlington

Early this year, President Barack Obama signed legislation to allow the cremated remains of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery — the hallowed burial place typically reserved for those who worked for the U.S. armed forces.

In the '40s, the U.S. was faced with a shortage of pilots and the first women to fly military aircrafts became the courageous new group known as WASP. Their jobs were not without danger and 38 female pilots died in service.

Elaine Harmon died last year at the age of 95. She was one of the WASPs who flew military aircraft on noncombat missions during World War II so that men were freed up for combat.

Photo Courtsey of AP/Erin Miller

Harmon's family fought relentlessly to allow the burial of WASPs in Arlington.

In December 2015, the family created a campaign on change.org to promote the widespread criticism of the Army excluding WASPs. The petition received more than 175,000 signatures.

On Wednesday, Harmon's ashes will be inurned at a funeral service with military honors.

The family kept her ashes in a bedroom closet while they worked to get Arlington's exclusionary policy overturned.

Harmon's granddaughter Erin Miller said dozens of family members are in town for Wednesday's service, which comes more than a year after her grandmother's death in April 2015.

NEXT: Congress Just Approved Arlington Burials for Female WWII Pilots »

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Photo Credit: Getty Images