WASHINGTON, DC – Area Congressman Lloyd Smucker joined veteran William Balabanow of Lititz, Lancaster County, at a ceremony recognizing veterans of the United States Merchant Mariners for their service during World War II. Balabanow was one of 10 veterans who received the Congressional Gold Medal at the U.S. Capitol on behalf of the approximately 1,500 remaining Merchant Mariners of WWII. Merchant Mariners experienced some of the earliest action of the war due to German submarines attacking British merchant ships in the Atlantic, disrupting supply chains to America’s allies. In 2020, Congress unanimously passed a measure to honor their service. The bill was promptly signed into law though the official award was delayed due to the global pandemic. Congressman Smucker thanked Balabanow for his service to our nation and advocacy on behalf of his fellow Merchant Mariners. He added that Balabanow is truly representative of our nation’s greatest generation and has earned our nation’s unending gratitude for his service.