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Along Nebraska's Medal of Honor Highway, Walk the Walk includes Orchard visit

 

American Legion members, Ken Hanel, of West Point, and Daryl Harrison, of Thurston, will begin Walk the Walk, a 432-mile dedication of the Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway, May 11. Their trek across Nebraska will include a stop in Orchard.

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The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award for bravery. It is awarded by the president, in the name of Congress. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Since it was first presented in 1863, the medal has been awarded 3,512 times to 3,492 recipients.

In February 2020, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts decreed that U.S. Highway 20 shall be known as the Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway, to honor Nebraska's greatest military heroes.

American Legion members, Ken Hanel, of West Point, and Daryl Harrison, of Thurston, will begin Walk the Walk, a 432-mile dedication of the Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway, beginning at 5 a.m. MT, May 11, at the Nebraska/Wyoming border.

Hanel, 74, and Harrison, 66, will be supported by their wives, drivers and back-up walkers. They will alternate walking six-mile segments for a total of 36 miles a day, and then join together in walking the 37th mile at the end of each day.

Each segment of the walk is dedicated to a specific Nebraska Medal of Honor recipient. There are currently 74 Nebraska Medal of Honor recipients.

The entourage will be stopping in 11 communities, including Crawford, Hay Springs, Gordon, Cody, Valentine, Wood Lake, Bassett, Atkinson, Orchard, Osmond and Laurel, to spend the night, across 12 days.

At each community, the entourage will join those of a patriotic nature for supper. It is the purpose of the walkers to raise funds for further signage along the highway and introduce Nebraskans to their largest veteran memorial.

The Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway will eventually become part of a National Medal of Honor Highway that stretches from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massechusets.

On the morning of May 22, a motorcycle convoy will take off from the Wyoming/Nebraska border at 8 a.m., CT, with the mission of forming a flag line at Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City that afternoon. Motorcycles from American Legion Riders, Patriot Guard Riders and ABATE, will be making the ride. All other patriotic motorcyclists are invited to join them along the highway that day.

At 5:30 p.m., Hanel and Harrison will be joined by Medal of Honor Recipient James McCloughan, who will sing the National Anthem, along with Charles Hagemeister, one of only two living Nebraska Medal of Honor recipients.

 

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