On May 10, many community members came together to celebrate the highway dedication of a beloved local figure and Korean War veteran, First Lt. Margaret Lucille Manchinni ’59, better known as “Miss Peggy.”
Miss Peggy, 91, was born in January 1928 in New York. She attended boot camp in Texas, where she later graduated with honor and distinction. After attending boot camp, Miss Peggy was transferred to the Army Nursing Corp, where she graduated at the top of her class. From there, Miss Peggy was assigned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center from May 1952 to January 1953.
Miss Peggy was assigned to the U.S. Army base on Sasebo, Japan, where she spent two years caring for wounded GIs. When she was transferred back to the United States, she attended the Philadelphia Bible Institute and graduated in 1959. From there, Miss Peggy moved to Kentucky to serve God as a missionary and worked at the Home Place Hospital for nine years.
“The healing hands of Army nurses to a soldier who has been wounded in combat are, for all intents and purposes, America herself,” said Brigadier General (Retired) Benjamin Adams III, the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, during the ceremony. “There were only 540 to start with (Army nurses during the Korean and Vietnam Wars) and only a fraction of those Angels of Mercy are still with us today. Very few of those are still with us in the Commonwealth.”
In addition to the highway dedication, Miss Peggy received several awards and certificates during the ceremony, including the Korean Defense Service medal, Good Conduct medal, the United Nations pin and the National Defense Service medal, and was also named a Duchess of Hazard. Miss Peggy also received a letter from Gov. Matt Bevin thanking her for her service.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Miss Peggy. “It is wonderful. The Lord is so good. I praise the Lord I was able to (serve my country).”
The portion of Ky. 476 starting at mile marker 9 and ending at mile marker 15 is now officially named the First Lt. Margaret Lucille Manchinni Highway.