HOUSE BILL NO. 717
INTRODUCED BY M. WEATHERWAX, B. BENNETT, K. DUDIK, S. MORIGEAU, D. SALOMON, D. ZOLNIKOV
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE LOUIS CHARLES CHARLO MEMORIAL HIGHWAY IN MISSOULA COUNTY; DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO INSTALL SIGNS AT THE LOCATION AND TO INCLUDE THE MEMORIAL HIGHWAY ON THE NEXT PUBLICATION OF THE STATE HIGHWAY MAP; PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo, a U.S. Marine from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, served in crucial roles for the raising of the two U.S. flags on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo was born September 26, 1926, the son of Mary and Antoine Charlo; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo's great grandfather was Chief Charlo, the head chief of the Bitterroot Salish from 1870 to 1910; and
WHEREAS, the Battle of Iwo Jima was a major battle in which the U.S. Marine Corps landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo ascended Mount Suribachi with three fellow Marines on the morning of February 23, 1945, to conduct route reconnaissance and determine enemy disposition on the summit prior to the first flag raising; and
WHEREAS, it is traditionally known that Louis Charles Charlo participated in the raising of the first U.S. flag, which came from aboard U.S.S. Missoula, on Mount Suribachi; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo provided security on the summit of Mount Suribachi for the raising of the second U.S. flag, immortalized by Associated Press photographer Joseph Rosenthal; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo was killed as he was attempting to rescue Private Ed McLaughlin, a wounded soldier stranded in an area of the Iwo Jima battlefield known as the Meat Grinder; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo was carrying McLaughlin on his back and both were killed just a few feet from safety; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo earned the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with one bronze star, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with one bronze star, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Purple Heart; and
WHEREAS, Senator Mike Mansfield, then a U.S. Representative, traveled to Iwo Jima in 1948 and escorted Louis Charles Charlo's body back to Montana; and
WHEREAS, Louis Charles Charlo is now buried at the Saint Ignatius Old Catholic Cemetery, Lake County, Montana; and
WHEREAS, the 66th Legislature of the State of Montana honors Louis Charles Charlo.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Louis Charles Charlo memorial highway. (1) There is established the Louis Charles Charlo memorial highway on the existing U.S. highway 93 north from mile marker 7 to mile marker 9.
(2) The department shall design and install appropriate signs marking the location of the Louis Charles Charlo memorial highway.
(3) Maps that identify roadways in Montana must be updated to include the location of the Louis Charles Charlo memorial highway when the department updates and publishes the state maps.
Section 2. Appropriation. There is appropriated $1 from the general fund to the department of transportation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, for the purpose of [section 1].
Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 60, chapter 1, part 2, and the provisions of Title 60, chapter 1, part 2, apply to [section 1].
Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services