Gov. Mark Gordon and other state officials will unveil the new Medal of Honor Highway sign during an event at 10 a.m., Aug. 20 at the Orin Junction Rest Area off Interstate 25, exit 126.
The event will officially designate US 20 as the Medal of Honor Highway. Gov. Gordon, the Wyoming Veterans Commission, members of the state Legislature, and state and local officials will attend the event.
“Wyoming has always valued and supported the roles of our military. We know well our nation would not be what it is were it not for the valiant service of our men and women in uniform. Wyoming steps up. It is only fitting that we recognize those recipients of the nation’s highest honor, our Congressional Medal of Honor. This highway commemorates their sacrifice.” said Gov. Mark Gordon.
Gordon will speak at the event along with Ret. Lt. Col. Barry Gasdek, past national commander of the Legion of Valor, and K. Luke Reiner, Wyoming Department of Transportation Director. State Sen. Stephen Pappas will emcee the event.
“As Americans, we are rapidly losing some of our greatest heroes and role models. There are only 71 of 3,507 recipients still living. Thanks to the Medal of Honor Highway initiative, which has now passed in three of the twelve states along the coast to coast highway, their memory will never be lost to future generations,” said Pappas.
Lawmakers approved creating the Medal of Honor Highway during the 2019 legislative session. US 20 is the longest highway in the U.S., spanning the country from coast to coast.
“The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force, which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States,” Gasdek said. “It is generally presented by the president, in the name of Congress, and stands above all other medals and is, therefore, the Medal of Honor. We are proud to have Highway 20 across Wyoming represent part of the National Medal of Honor Highway, from Oregon to Massachusetts.”
Oregon lawmakers were the first to approve their section of US 20 as the Medal of Honor Highway. They suggested other states do the same to ensure the entire stretch of road bears the name.
“The goal of doing this is to honor all current and future Medal of Honor recipients,” said WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner. “The Medal of Honor is the highest honor given to those who have distinguished themselves through acts of valor. By designating US 20 as the Medal of Honor Highway, it serves as another way of we can honor those brave men and women.”
Who: Gov. Mark Gordon, Wyoming Veterans Commission (under the Wyoming Military Department) and representatives of the state Legislature
What: US 20 Medal of Honor Highway designation
When: 10 a.m. Aug. 20
Where: Orin Junction rest area off Interstate 25, exit 126