MOINES) – Iowa soldiers who have received the
nation’s highest military award will be honored
in a new exhibit to be unveiled Friday at the State
“Iowa’s Medal of Honor Heroes,”
a permanent state-of-the-art multimedia kiosk created
by the State Historical Society of Iowa, will be unveiled
at 4 p.m. Friday in the State Capitol Rotunda. The
Medal of Honor is given for distinguished gallantry
during hostile action and is presented by the President
of the United States in the name of Congress. Authorized
in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Medal of
Honor has recognized the valor and sacrifice of 108
Iowans in 10 major conflicts. Fewer than 3,500 soldiers
have received the award, more than half of them posthumously.
“As Iowans prepare to celebrate the Fourth
of July, we invite them to join us at the State Capitol
to unveil this exhibit in tribute to Iowa’s
Medal of Honor recipients,” said Anita Walker,
director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs,
which oversees the State Historical Society of Iowa.
“Their stories of courage and bravery are powerful
and inspiring, and leave little question as to why
they are called the bravest of the brave.”
The Medal of Honor project began in 2004 with legislative
action sponsored by Senator Dennis Black, (D-District
21). With Black’s research at the core of the
project, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs compiled
the history of 108 Medal of Honor recipients associated
with Iowa. Friday’s event will recognize them
and their families at the State Capitol, including
Sioux City native Colonel George “Bud”
Day enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and
saw three years of active duty in the Pacific theater
during World War II. As a civilian, Day earned his
law degree and was recalled to active duty, trained
as a fighter pilot and served during the Korean Conflict.
In 1967, he was in command of a squadron during the
Vietnam War when he was shot down and endured more
than five years of prison in North Vietnam. He received
the Medal of Honor from President Gerald Ford in 1976,
nearly three years after he was released from a North
The public is invited to join the State Historical
Society of Iowa as it unveils one of the state’s
most patriotic exhibits. No reservations necessary.
Call 515-281-5111 for more information.
The unveiling of the exhibit and battle flag will
be held in conjunction with the Des Moines Symphony’s
Yankee Doodle Pops, a free, outdoor concert at the
State Capitol presented by Bank of the West. The Iowa
National Guard will also participate in the activities.
Following is the full schedule for Friday’s
Guests, Medal of Honor recipients and their relatives
and the public assemble in State Capitol Rotunda.
“Iowa’s Medal of Honor Heroes”
and Civil War Battle Flag unveiling in State Capitol
Rotunda, including Iowa National Guard Presentation
of Colors, bagpipes and salute.
Private reception at State Historical Building for
Medal of Honor recipients and their relatives and
Iowa National Guard representatives.
5 p.m. (Southwest Terrace of State
Blues Before Sunset concert featuring Kevin “B.F.”
Burt & The Instigators
Private tour of State Historical Museum Battle Flag
Preservation Laboratory for Medal of Honor recipients
and their relatives.
Susie Miget Group/Metro Arts Jazz in July, west side
of the State Capitol, free and open to the public.
EXCLUSIVE VIEWING PARTY in conjunction with Yankee
Doodle Pops at the State Historical Building. A gourmet
picnic and V.I.P. view of fireworks certain to spark
the patriotic spirit. Reserve a spot by e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 515-280-4017.
8:30 p.m. (west side of State Capitol)
Presentation of Colors
Star Spangled Banner
Iowa National Guard Flyover
Des Moines Symphony Yankee Doodle Pops Concert
Vendors selling a variety of foods and drinks will
be stationed on the north and south end of Finkbine
Street between Walnut Street and Grand Avenue. The
orchestra will perform on a stage facing the Capitol
from Finkbine Street. Fireworks will be shot off over
the downtown skyline, from the Locust Street bridge
at the conclusion of the concert. Parking is available
in designated downtown lots. A drop off for people
who need assistance will be on the corner of Grand
Avenue and East 9th Street.
The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee
of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate
for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies,
records, collects, preserves, manages and provides
access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual
mission of preservation and education serves Iowans
of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates
information, and encourages and supports historical
preservation and education efforts of others throughout
the state. Please visit www.iowahistory.org
or call 515-281-5111 for more information.
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