The University Library will host a special ceremony honoring Major Kenneth D. Bailey (1910-1942), the only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who was a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumnus. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
The “Honoring Major Kenneth Bailey: Medal of Honor Recipient” ceremony will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2017, in the Marshall Gallery of the Main Library on the Illinois campus. The ceremony’s keynote speaker is Captain Anthony Corapi, Commanding Officer of the University of Illinois NROTC.
“It is very humbling to me to be able to recognize a true American hero,” said Captain Corapi.
Major Bailey was a native of Danville, Illinois, a graduate of the University of Illinois (class of 1935), and a major in the U.S. Marine Corps. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society citation for Major Bailey reads, in part: “For extraordinary courage and heroic conduct above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Company C, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, during the enemy Japanese attack on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 12-13 September 1942.”
The October 27 ceremony complements a month-long exhibit in the Main Library’s Marshall Gallery which includes Major Bailey’s Medal of Honor on loan from the Vermilion County War Museum.
Exhibit and ceremony sponsors include the Vermilion County War Museum , the University of Illinois Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) , the Student Life and Culture Archives , the University Archives , and the University Library .
For more information about the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and to read the full citation for Major Bailey, please visit cmohs.org .