A memorial to some of Iowa’s most-decorated war heroes has fallen into disrepair. The state of Iowa owns an acre of land near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where each state has a monument to its Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
Iowa Senator Dennis Black, a Democrat from Grinnell, says the state got a letter from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society with what he calls "shameful" news about the site.
"It states that the Medal of Honor Monument for the great state of Iowa is in crucial need of restoration and maintenance." Up until now, Black says no one in Iowa has been charged with maintaining the memorial. The Iowa Senate passed a bill to study what’s needed to restore or replace the monument. Black did some research on the state’s Medal of Honor recipients.
Black says, "To receive a letter that relates to the award for those heroes who receive it for the highest level of intrepidity and valor, to me, is kind of shameful." Starting with the Civil War, 108 Iowans have received the medal for unusual valor in battle.
Black says some Iowans’ names are missing from the monument, including the state’s only female recipient, Civil War surgeon Mary Edwards Walker, and Vernon Baker, the only African-American recipient of the award from World War Two.