ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -U.S. Route 20 reaches from Massachusetts to Oregon, covering 3,365 miles. In 2017, a foundation out of Bend, Oregon led the drive to rename Route 20 to the Medal of Honor Highway.

Governor Hochul signed a bill renaming New York’s portion of the highway in July of 2022. “This bill is a testament to New York State’s commitment to honoring the sacrifices made by our veterans and ensuring that their legacy lives on,” said Senator of the 23rd District, Jessica Scarcella-Spanton.

According to the Medal of Honor Society, 676 New York veterans have been given the honor. Strict guidelines are put in place to make sure members of the armed forces who truly deserve a medal earn one. “That distinguishes themselves by gallantry and intrepidly at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action against the enemy of the United States,” described New York Veterans of Foreign Wars Past State Commander, Mike Hoag.

The medals have been given out as far back as 1862. Among the recipients nation-wide, New York has a unique medalist. “Including the only woman to ever receive that award and that’s Doctor Walker [practiced in] Oneonta who received it during the Civil War,” explained Assembly Member of the 106th District, Didi Barrett.