BUFFALO, N.Y. — Lawmakers scattered across America's longest highway have come together to propose a bill to designate it as the “National Medal of Honor Highway.”
The proposed bill would make U.S. Highway 20 between Newport, Oregon and New England as the “National Medal of Honor Highway.”
“Stretching 372 miles, US Route 20 is New York State’s longest highway, in addition to the longest highway in our nation,” Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) said in a press release. “Designating Route 20, which includes a portion of Transit Road in Erie County, as the National Medal of Honor Highway recognizes our nation’s bravest veterans, including those from New York State. We cannot forget the courageous sacrifices that Medal of Honor recipients have made for our country and dedicating our longest highway in their honor will preserve their legacy for generations to come.”
Re-designating U.S. Highway 20 as the medal of honor highway will honor the state's current and future medal of honor recipients as well as recipients from any state who travel on it.
“I’m proud to have worked closely with veterans in Oregon and nationwide in the grassroots movement to designate America’s longest continuous highway – which spans from the Pacific to the Atlantic – as the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway,’” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said.
“Designating U.S. Highway 20 as the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway’ would provide a permanent and deserved recognition of America’s heroes, and I’ll keep fighting tooth and nail alongside veterans to drive this bill past the finish line.”
The Medal of Honor is the highest military award of valor and is awarded to 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 nation’s Medal of Honor recipients represent the bravest among us,” Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)said. “Their selflessness, sacrifice and sense of duty should be recognized and celebrated. I am proud to support the designation of the National Medal of Honor Highway, which traverses Idaho and stretches across our great nation from coast to coast.”
“Covering more than 3,000 miles, U.S. Route 20 is America’s longest highway. By designating U.S. Route 20 as the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway,’ we commemorate all 3,515 recipients of the award, both living and passed,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said.
“It’s my sincere hope that the millions of Americans who travel the highway each year – from Bend to Chicago to Erie to Boston - will take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary sacrifice, courage, and devotion exhibited by every single Medal of Honor recipient. We owe them a debt we can never repay. Designating this highway is just one way and we can cement their legacy in American history.”
The 12 states along the proposed 3,365-mile Medal of Honor Highway account for around 62% of all Medal of honor awards since the Civil War.