We need YOU to help put Annie Oakley in Statuary Hall

Annie-OakleyBy Linda Walker

If you have ever gone to the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., then no doubt you have walked through Statuary Hall, where each state has two statues depicting someone from its history.

One of these statues is slated to be replaced. The Ohio Legislature has been tasked to find the replacement, with the help of all Ohioans. We need YOU to help us put famous Ohio sharpshooter Annie Oakley in Statuary Hall.

According to committee chairman Senator Mark Wagoner, "The National Statuary Collection Study Committee was created as part of Senate Bill 277 of the 126th General Assembly to select a replacement statue to be displayed at the United States Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection."

Senator Wagoner goes on to say, "Members are working to present a formal recommendation to the Ohio General Assembly to replace the statue of former Ohio Governor William Allen with an individual who better represents the values and heritage of the state of Ohio. The other Ohioan represented is former President of the United States, Union General and U.S. Representative from Ohio, James A. Garfield.

"The federal law creating the National Statuary Hall was passed in 1864, allowing each state to provide statues, in marble or bronze, not exceeding two in number for each state, of deceased persons, who have been citizens thereof, and illustrations for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military service as each State may deem worthy of this national commemoration."

As firearms enthusiasts, we have the opportunity to nominate and rally behind putting one of "our people" in Statuary Hall ... Annie Oakley!

Annie was a world famous sharpshooter and star of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show. She was less well-known for other important contributions to our country. According to Dorchester Public Library, "When the United States was pulled into World War I, Annie Oakley offered to raise a regiment of woman volunteers to fight in the war. She had made the same offer during the Spanish-American War. At neither time was that offer accepted. She also offered to teach marksmanship to the troops. She did travel across the country for the National War Council of the Young Men's Christian Association and War Camp Community Service. At stops at training camps, she gave shooting demonstrations. She also raised money for the Red Cross."

The Ohio General Assembly will be holding a joint committee on Thursday, January 28, between 9:00 and Noon to consider nominees.

One verbal testimony per nominee will be allowed to be given at the hearing, and Linda Walker, Central Ohio Chair of Buckeye Firearms Association, will present verbal testimony on behalf of Annie Oakley.

But YOUR testimony is needed as well!

Please submit written testimony in this format to Senator Wagoner's office prior to Jan. 25 to the following email address:

[email protected]

Let's flood this committee with support for putting a Buckeye State gunnie in the U.S. Capitol Building!

Linda Walker is Central Ohio Chair of Buckeye Firearms Association, a firearms instructor in central Ohio and the NRA's 2009 "Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award" recipient.

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