Illinois Agrees To Change The Name Of U.S. Highway 20
If you've ever taken a couple of minutes to look up a bill that's making its way through Illinois state government, you've probably discovered that reading all the language crammed into a bill takes some time to get done. Not this time, though.
Illinois Senate Joint Resolution 28 (SJR0028), which addresses the name change for U.S. Highway 20 here in Illinois, is wonderfully simple and to-the-point:
Designates the entire portion of U.S. Highway 20 in Illinois beginning at the Illinois/Iowa border and ending at the Illinois/Indiana border as the "Illinois Medal of Honor Highway."
The passing of the resolution coincided with Vietnam Veterans Day, held each year on March 29th.
This Renaming Effort Isn't Limited To Just Illinois, It's Going Coast-To-Coast
In all, we're talking about the 3,365 miles of Highway 20 spanning the entire country from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans.
To understand why Highway 20 was chosen for this designation, let's take a look at some numbers.
- The Medal of Honor is the United States' highest award for military valor in action, and since the Civil War, 3,511 service United States service members have received the honor.
- As of March 1st of this year, 66 of those service members are still with us.
- Illinois is the home state of 199 Medal of Honor recipients.
- About 2,360 recipients or two-thirds (67%) of all 3,508 Medal of Honor awards presented since 1863 are connected with the 12 states connecting Highway 20: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. (hat-tip to WSILTV.com)
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin the process of putting a new signs all over the state in the very near future.