Nebraska Gov Pete Ricketts last year named U-S Hwy 20 in the state as the Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway, part of a project to designate the country’s longest highway as a way to remember the winners of the nation’s highest military award.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, plans to officially dedicate and christen Nebraska’s largest Veterans Memorial were postponed until this month with a celebration planned in South Sioux City on Saturday the 22nd.
Two Nebraska veterans and members of the American Legion, 66-year old Daryl Harrison of Thurston and 72-year old Ken Hanel of West Point, are walking the entire 435-miles of the highway to raise money for signs proclaiming the name.
Dubbed “Walk the Walk,” Harrison and Hanel are leaving from the state line west of Harrison at 5:00 tomorrow morning and walking 37 miles a day for the next 12 days to reach the South Sioux City event.
They will start each morning at 5:00 alternate 6-mile legs, then walk the final one mile per day together before stopping for the night in 11 towns. The first is tomorrow night in Crawford, followed by Hay Springs on Wednesday, and Gordon on Thursday.
Harrison and Hanel will be accompanied by a support team that includes their wives, drivers, and backup walkers. They’re also inviting anyone who wants to join them for a segment – more or less – as long as they don’t park vehicles along the highway.
Members of the public are asked to honor them with flags they move along the route. and to honor them when they arrive at their nightly stops..
Each segment is dedicated to one of Nebraska’s 74 Medal of Honor recipients with links to information about each available on the Nebraska Medal of Honor Foundation website nebraskamedalofhonorfoundation.org.
Harrison and Hanel will be followed on the 22nd by a motorcycle cavalcade that will leave Van Tassel, Wyo, at 7:00 AM for the South Sioux City dedication, where they’ll form a flag line. The riders will take their first rest break in Gordon at 8:45.