New Medal of Honor plaque unveiled at Capitol - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

New Medal of Honor plaque unveiled at Capitol

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By: Bill Schammert
bschammert@klkntv.com

Of the millions of men and women who've served our country, only about 3,500 have ever received the Medal of Honor.  Now, the dozens of Nebraskans who've received such an honor will be forever memorialized at the state capitol.

One of those men, Charles Hagemeister, was in attendance at the unveiling on Veteran's Day.  He described how he earned such an honor.  

The date was March 20th, 1967.

"There was an air assault at about 5:30, we walked into an ambush," the former Lincoln Southeast Night remembered.

"Throw in 23 of us, and 160 of them.  We were fighting for survival from six to midnight.  I pulled six wounded out of the ambush, was credited with seven kills and took over an infantry platoon as a PFC."

Soon after, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Hagemeister the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.  He went on to serve his country for more than three decades.  Monday, he helped Gov. Dave Heineman unveil the new plaque in Lincoln.

"They're sacrifices have preserved our freedom," the governor said during a ceremony. "Their actions represent the true meaning of the words duty, honor and country."

Hagemeister is one of 72 Nebraskans to ever receive the Medal of Honor.  The only other living recipient is former governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Kerrey.

The plaque is now on display on the second floor of the state capitol inside the Rotunda.

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