Central Oregon DailyNational Medal of Honor Highway bill, born in Central Oregon, passes US...

National Medal of Honor Highway bill, born in Central Oregon, passes US Senate

National Medal of Honor Highway bill, born in Central Oregon, passes US Senate

Oregon Medal of Honor Highway sign

A bill to name the entire stretch of Highway 20 from Oregon to Massachusetts to recognize Medal of Honor winners has passed the U.S. Senate. It was an idea born in Central Oregon.

The Senate passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday to designate Highway 20 as the “National Medal of Honor Highway.” It must still pass the House before going to the president for his signature.

Highway 20 is the longest continuous highway in the U.S. at 3,365 miles, from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts. Each state that the highway travels through has already designated it their state Medal of Honor highways. 

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The Bend Heroes Foundation and its chairman, retired Army Lt. Col. Dick Tobiason, has been pushing for five years for formal recognition of Highway 20 as the “National Medal of Honor Highway.”

“I’m proud the project was launched in Oregon,” Tobiason said in a statement. “And I also thank the national veterans groups who supported the Bend Heroes Foundation’s request – American Legion, Legion of Valor, Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Military Officers Association of America,  Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States and Vietnam Veterans of America.” 

The bill was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

“It’s an honor to have worked closely with veterans in Oregon and nationwide in the grassroots movement to designate our country’s longest continuous highway, stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic, as the ‘National Medal of Honor Highway,’” Wyden said in a statement. This bill is more than a symbolic gesture—it’s a timeless tribute to the heroes of America.” 

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. 

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