(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.), August 19, 2013 — A new sign for the J.E. “Buck” Karnes Bridge with the added distinction, “Medal of Honor Recipient,” will be unveiled Monday, Aug. 19. Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane from 10-11:30 a.m. for the brief ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. On hand for the event will be State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, who submitted legislation authorizing the new sign, and Knoxville City Councilman Marshall Stair, who made this effort a priority along with Medal of Honor Convention (Knoxville), which funded the effort.
The Knoxville Police Department Honor Guard and Chief David Rouch will attend in special recognition of the World War I soldier who later served as a Knoxville police officer. There will be an opportunity for media interviews from 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.
J.E. “Buck” Karnes was a Knoxville native who received the Medal of Honor for his bravery on a battlefield in France during World War I. When German machine guns pinned down the entire 117th company in a vulnerable position, Karnes and a fellow East Tennessean from Morristown named Calvin John Ward said they “had enough” and went on the offensive. The official citation for the Medal of Honor said the duo “succeeded in reducing the nest by killing three and capturing seven of the enemy and their guns.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is holding its annual convention in Knoxville September 9-13, 2014. The convention will consist of public and private events intended to help honor United States heroes and Medal of Honor recipients. The majority of the events will be held in and around World’s Fair Park and the Knoxville Convention Center.