LINCOLN — Charles Hagemeister's name is on the plaque he helped unveil Monday during a Veterans Day ceremony at the State Capitol.
A Vietnam War veteran, the Lincoln man is one of two living Nebraskans who have received the Medal of Honor. The other, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, had a conflict and was unable to attend the ceremony.
The plaque lists all 72 Nebraskans, living and dead, who have been given the medal.
Gov. Dave Heineman said the state is proud of those who have received the nation's highest military honor, which is awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
“We will never forget the tremendous legacy created by the men and women who served and are serving this country,” he said. “Their sacrifices have preserved our freedoms.”
Altogether, the Nebraskans whose names appear on the plaque served in nine wars and conflicts: the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine conflict, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Somalia campaign.
To be listed, a medalist has to have been born in Nebraska or have lived in the state for two years or longer, or have received the Medal of Honor for action occurring in the state, according to Mike Smith, director of the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Most of those listed on the plaque served during the Civil War or the Indian Wars, when the Medal of Honor was the only military award available, he said. The last military action in Nebraska was the Indian Wars.
The plaque will be installed permanently in the Capitol's 14th floor Memorial Chamber. The chamber is visited by thousands of people a year because it is on the same level as the Capitol's observation deck.