Brainerd’s Hortense McKay receives Congressional Gold Medal Saturday, March 25
The ceremony will take place 2 p.m. at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, 602 South 5th St., Brainerd.
BRAINERD — A Congressional Gold Medal will be presented to the family of Army Lt. Col. Hortense McKay for her actions during World War II at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25 at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, 602 South 5th St., Brainerd.
"Lt. Col. McKay is known as the Angel of Bataan, and our battalion has a deep connection to Bataan," said Army Lt. Col. John Hobot, 1st Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment’s battalion commander, in a news release. “It's an honor for us to participate in this ceremony and witness McKay and her family receive this very prestigious and deserving recognition.”
The Brainerd-based 1st Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment partnered with the Lt. Col. Hortense McKay Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Committee and the Brainerd Public School district to assemble the award ceremony. Army Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, the Minnesota National Guard’s Assistant Adjutant General, will present the award to McKay's family in honor of her nursing services during World War II and the Battle of Bataan.
"Being a part of this ceremony and getting to know the McKay family and story has been an honor of a lifetime,” said retired Lt. Col. Larry Osvold, co-chair of the Lt Col. Hortense McKay Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Committee. “We are so thankful to the Brainerd Public School system, Local Veterans Group 194th Tank Regiment, the 1-194 AR, and to all the people who have made this possible and supported this ceremony. Lt Col. McKay's story will live on forever, and her connection to the city of Brainerd makes this a perfect place to finally present her with the Congressional Gold Medal."
The first Congressional Gold Medal was awarded more than 247 years ago. Four Congressional Gold Medal recipients have connections to the Brainerd Lakes area. McKay is the first woman service member, the first woman graduate, and the first woman from the Brainerd lakes area to receive the award.