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Twiford honored at special ceremony

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LAUREL — Veterans from across Nebraska rode into Laurel Saturday to promote the National Medal of Honor Highway, and honor the man who got the project rolling in Nebraska.

“Gone but not forgotten” rang through and true Saturday in a special ceremony at the Laurel Cemetery where Gene Twiford was remembered.

He was recognized by the American Legion Riders and surviving members who were instrumental in the naming of Highway 20 as the Medal of Honor Highway in Nebraska.

In early 2018, veterans from Oregon began a push to name Highway 20 from Newport, Ore., to Boston, Mass., as the National Medal of Honor Highway. Past American Legion Department Commander Gene Twiford picked up on the effort and began the process of naming Highway 20 in Nebraska as the Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway to recognize the 73 Medal of Honor recipients from Nebraska.

He had to obtain letters of support from every community and county along Highway 20.

As completion of the first phase neared, Ken Hanel and Daryl Harrison joined Twiford and began the second phase of gaining the political support that would be needed to present this project to the Nebraska Department of Roads Commissioners.

Letters requesting support were garnered from former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey (Medal of Honor recipient) and the Nebraska Veterans Council (representing all registered veteran service organizations) along with the American Legion passing a resolution of support for the name change.

Also present at the ceremony were members of Twiford’s family, including daughters Jill Olesen and Gail Curry.

Daryl Harrison, president of the Nebraska Medal of Honor Foundation, along with the American Legion Riders and many other riders, started their trip in Lusk, Wyo.