HIGHWAY 20 AS OREGON MEDAL OF HONOR HIGHWAY
The nation’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, Robert D. “Bob” Maxwell, a WWII Army veteran, from Bend, will participate in a ceremony at the Newport City Hall, 169 SW Coast Highway, on Monday, October 30, dedicating the Oregon Medal of Honor Highway, Highway 20. The ceremony begins in the Council Chambers at 11:00 A.M., and will be followed by a reception at City Hall.
At the request of the Bend Heroes Foundation, chaired by Dick Tobiason, the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown designated all 451 miles of Highway 20, in Oregon, as the Oregon Medal of Honor Highway. The highway honors Oregon’s 26 Medal of Honor recipients who served during eight major wars in ten countries over a span of 108 years from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.
A new highway sign will be unveiled by Mayor Sandra Roumagoux, Robert Maxwell, City Council members, Dick Tobiason, and other dignitaries. The sign will be installed on Highway 20 near Moore Drive after the dedication ceremony.
This will be the first border-to-border highway in the nation honoring all of a state’s Medal of Honor recipients. The Oregon Medal of Honor Highway begins in Newport that is also the western terminus of the 3,365-mile long Highway 20 crossing 12 states ending in Boston, Massachusetts.
A proclamation designating Newport as the “Western Terminus of the Oregon Medal of Honor Highway” will be read and presented to Mr. Maxwell.
Oregon’s 26 “Bravest of the Brave” veterans are connected with 12 Oregon cities including Bend, home of Robert Maxwell, the nation’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient at 97 years old. Maxwell is the only Medal of Honor recipient living in Oregon and is the honored guest at the ceremony.
Mr. Maxwell’s heroism on September 7, 1944, in Besancon, France, resulted in the award of the Medal of Honor, a second Silver Star, a second Purple Heart, French Croix de Guerre, and French Legion of Honor.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded to an individual of the Armed Forces for conspicuous gallantry and bravery beyond the call of duty during combat at the risk to one’s life while saving others. 3,500 honor awards have been made since President Lincoln signed legislation for the award 155 years ago. Only 73 Medal of Honor recipients, of all wars, are living in the U.S. today.
The public is invited to attend this dedication ceremony and reception. For additional information, contact Spencer Nebel, at 541.574.0603.