The Siouxland Freedom Park has opened a temporary exhibit to honor local military hero Bud Day.

Brigadier General Day was awared the Congressional Medal of Honor after surviving years of torture in a prison camp during the Vietnam War. Freedom Park board member Marty Hogan says the exhibit honors the hero and his wife Doris as Day’s 99th birthday approaches February 24th.

Display at Bud Day exhibit. (KSCJ photo)

“We have a lot of really good pictures, several with him and his family before he went to Vietnam and then there’s some after Vietnam. We have some little items that Doris started that remember our POWs, we have a bumper sticker from that era,” he says. Hogan hopes the display at the interpretive center of the park will spur donations of local memorabilia that will eventually become a permanent display.

)”Hopefully this will kick start a few donations coming in for you know of items and then we can start on our permanent display,” Hogans says. “We would like a collage of pictures on the wall, so most of those pictures that you’ll see will be incorporated into that. But then I would like a showcase to have items inside there with little stories beside them.” Day endured more than five years of torture after being shot down. He escaped a POW camp, but was recaptured and punished more for escaping.

Hogan is a retired major who marvels at the fortitude of Day throughout the ordeal. “To not hold endless hate in your heart, his faith, his faith in his country, everything that he did was geared towards getting back home to his family,” Hogan says. “And on the converse side of that, his wife was doing the same thing here. And that is a family value. I think that Americans have kind of let slip away.” Day earned 70 decorations in service to his country, second only to General Douglas MacArthur. Day was posthumously promoted to Brigadier General in 2017.

The Interpretive Center is currently open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in South Sioux City Nebraska.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)