SWEET HOME — Two new Oregon Medal of Honor Highway signs will be dedicated at Shea Viewpoint on Foster Reservoir at 1 p.m. Friday.
In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the VFW Post at 580 Main St.
The westbound sign was sponsored by Cascade Timber Consulting, Sweet Home Timber, Radiator Supply House and the Murphy Co.
An eastbound sign is sponsored by the Oregon Trail Chapter 72 of the Korean War Veterans Association.
The signs will be the 10th and 11th to be installed along the 451-mile U.S. Highway 20 between Newport and Nyssa.
Participating in the ceremony will be Mayor Greg Mahler and members of the City Council, veterans and sign donors. Selected Medal of Honor citations will be read. The ceremony is open to the public and is free of charge.
After the unveiling, ODOT will install the signs on Highway 20 near Foster Reservoir.
At the Tuesday evening City Council meeting, Mayor Mahler will issue a proclamation designating Sweet Home as a Medal of Honor City.
The Oregon Medal of Honor Highway honors 26 Medal of Honor recipients connected with Oregon. Robert D. “Bob” Maxwell of Bend is the only recipient living in Oregon. At 97, he is the oldest of the 71 living Medal of Honor recipients from all wars.
The Oregon Medal of Honor Highway is the first of its kind in the nation honoring all of a state’s Medal of Honor recipients with a border-to-border highway. It was designated the Oregon Medal of Honor Highway by the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown during the 2017 session. The legislation was requested and drafted by Dick Tobiason, chairman, Bend Heroes Foundation.
This is the sixth and final border-to-border veterans’ memorial highway in Oregon initiated by the Bend Heroes Foundation honoring nearly 500,000 Oregon veterans who served, the 6,022 who perished and the 15,000 who were wounded during five major wars over the last 100 years: WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Over the last 10 years, Bend Heroes Foundation and its partners have raised $95,000 to pay ODOT to fabricate and install 79 highway signs on the six highways, totaling 2,500 miles in length. This 10-year project will be completed when the 12th and final Oregon Medal of Honor Highway sign is dedicated near Oregon State University in Corvallis.