Now, Congress is considering conferring a top award to honor the victims.
But the tragedy’s lone survivor, Sarah Collins Rudolph, reportedly has said she wouldn’t accept the award, and instead wants restitution after years of medical treatment and out-of-pocket medical expense.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been considering giving Rudolph and the murdered girls the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest award.
Since the American Revolution, Congress has conferred the medal upon individuals, institutions and events for distinguished achievements and contributions to society.
In the country’s early years, most recipients were military leaders, beginning with the Continental Congress’ acknowledgement of George Washington in 1776.