May 10, 2023

Young, Colleagues Honor Medal of Honor Recipients By Designating U.S. Highway 20 as the “National Medal of Honor Highway”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced legislation designating U.S. Highway 20 as the “National Medal of Honor Highway.” Indiana is home to 156 miles of Highway 20.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award for valor, presented by the president in Congress’ name. U.S. service members who distinguish themselves “through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” can receive the medal. 

“Our Medal of Honor recipients are some of our nation’s bravest heroes,” said Senator Young. “I am proud to support the designation of U.S. Highway 20 as the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway’ and permanently recognize and celebrate each recipient’s selfless devotion and sacrifice to our country.”

Redesignating U.S. Highway 20— the longest continuous highway in the United States— as the “National Medal of Honor Highway” would honor current and future Medal of Honor recipients from Indiana and around the country.

Legislatures and governors in all 12 states along U.S. Highway 20 have designated their state Medal of Honor Highways covering 100 percent of the 3,365-mile Medal of Honor Highway across America. The 12 states along U.S. Highway 20 accounts for about 62 percent of all 3,516 Medal of Honor awards presented since the Civil War. Designating U.S. Highway 20 as the “National Medal of Honor Highway” would ensure all 3,516 recipients and any future recipients from all 50 states and territories are honored. Following Indiana’s designation, INDOT placed eight commemorative signs along the route through Steuben, LaGrange, Elkhart, St. Joseph, LaPorte, Porter, and Lake counties

In addition to Senator Young, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also cosponsored this legislation.

Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) and Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) led similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation is supported by the Bend Heroes Foundation, Military Officers Association of America, American Legion, Legion of Valor, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“The National Medal of Honor Highway across our great nation is a permanent tribute to America’s members of the Armed Forces who acted with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of their lives during combat with an enemy of the United States,” said Dick Tobiason, LTC US Army, Ret., Chairman, Bend Heroes Foundation, Initiator, National Medal of Honor Highway. “They were willing to give their lives while saving others. For their sacrifice they were awarded the Medal of Honor medal, our nation’s highest award for military valor.”

“On behalf of the membership of America’s oldest Veterans Service Organization, the Legion Of Valor, whose membership consists entirely of our nation’s most highly decorated combat veterans, all holders of the Medal Of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross and Air Force Cross, we are honored to put 133 years of our institutional service and sacrifice to the nation behind this bill supporting the dedication of US Highway 20 as America’s National Medal Of Honor Highway,” said Justin D. LeHew National Commander of the Legion of Valor.

“The Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States is pleased to endorse the designating of U.S. Highway 20 as National Medal of Honor Highway,” said Gayle Alvarez, President of the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States. “Designating U.S. Highway 20 as National Medal of Honor Highway will be a lasting tribute and recognition for all the Medal of Honor recipients.”

The legislative text can be found here.

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