Medal Highway Dedication Saturday

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A state highway will be dedicated in St. Maries Saturday in recognition of veterans who’ve received America’s highest military honor.

Four years ago State 3 was designated as North Idaho’s Medal of Honor Highway. But there was never a dedication to mark the occasion. A local group of veterans from the American Legion Lloyd G. McCarter Post 25 decided to undertake the project.

Jim Shubert, Tim Hall and Marilyn Barker invite the community to the dedication ceremony to mark State 3 as the Medal of Honor Highway. The dedication is at noon July 25 at the football field at St. Maries High School.

Jim Shubert, Tim Hall and Marilyn Barker invite the community to the dedication ceremony to mark State 3 as the Medal of Honor Highway. The dedication is at noon July 25 at the football field at St. Maries High School.

Jim Shubert said Marilyn Barker wrote the Idaho Department of Transportation about plans for a dedication and received permission in September.

“We felt it was important to do this for two reasons. First to honor the Medal of Honor recipients and second for the recognition it gives to veterans,” Mr. Shubert said. “It is not only a community event but it is a statewide event.”

Saturday’s dedication will take place at noon at the track at St. Maries High School. Mr. Shubert said having the dedication in St. Maries is ideal because not only is St. Maries centrally located, but three Medal of Honor recipients lived in St. Maries: Vernon Baker, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington and Lloyd G. McCarter.

State 3 traverses 120 miles, connecting U.S. 12 near Spalding with Interstate 90 near Rose Lake. More than 100 individuals from the state of Idaho have received the Medal of Honor.

Mr. Shubert said he expects several to attend the dedication ceremony Saturday and he encouraged locals who plan to attend to arrive early. Several other groups are also taking part in the event including Marine Corps League Detachment 966 Pappy Boyington, community band and choir, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Warriors.

The program for the dedication will include the following: March on the Colors, National Anthem, Invocation, POW/MIA Ceremony, and Service Songs and Here We Have Idaho, two numbers by the community band and choir.

Mr. Shubert will welcome everyone to the event and Jerry Wombolt will do the introduction of Medal of Honor recipients. Lieutenant Thomas Norris, who served in the U.S. Navy and is a Medal of Honor recipient, is the keynote speaker.

Lt. Norris received the Medal of Honor for leading a team on a ground mission to rescue two downed pilots deep in enemy territory in Quang Tri Province in April 1972 during Vietnam.

The ceremony will conclude with a blessing from a tribal elder and a performance by the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Drum Group. Lt. Norris and Stirley Cochran will unveil the sign and a benediction will be given by Reverend Greg Worch. After the colors are retired, Mr. Shubert will make closing remarks.

Following the dedication, which is expected to last an hour, there will be a reception at the Cormana Building. Vendors will serve food.

Commemorative items will be available for purchase at the dedication ceremony. The souvenirs, which are available online and at the ceremony, include a one-ounce silver coin, $32; T-shirts, $20; and patches, $13. The coin and patches were designed by the organizing committee, while the shirts were designed by Chuck Groshong of St. Maries.

The items may be purchased through the post’s website at http://lgmccarterpost25.com, through Jim Shubert or Marilyn Barker. Volunteers will be available with sewing machines onsite to attach the patches to a vest, jacket or other article at the ceremony.

Money from the silver coins and patches will help pay for the dedication program and will support American Legion Post 25.

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