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Oregon City High School graduate would be among fewer than 200 people in history to receive prestigious honor.

Oregon City High School graduate and state wrestling champion Tyrone Woods' legacy may include the Congressional Gold Medal in addition to a memorial highway and park.COURTESY PHOTO - Tyrone S. Woods Memorial Park has a stone memorial built and maintained through funds raised by the VFW chapter based in Oregon City.

Woods, a U.S. Navy veteran and a retired SEAL team member, was working as a civilian contractor for the CIA when he was killed during the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 12, 2012. The U.S. House last month passed a bill to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the four Americans who died in the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate.

Oregon City residents, with support from Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, are now actively lobbying other states' representatives in the U.S. Senate to honor Woods with the most prestigious award that Congress can bestow, given so far to only 179 times in U.S. history.

Since January of 2021, 49 senators have signed on to give the award to Woods and three others who defended the consulate, so 18 more senators are needed for the two-thirds requirement in advance of the end of this Congress on Jan. 3, 2023. Once the bill passes the Senate, the last step is for it to reach the president's desk for his signature.COURTESY PHOTO - Portland Police's Highland Guard plays for guests at the May 2021 dedication of Tyrone S. Woods Memorial Park in Oregon City.COURTESY PHOTO - Tyrone S. Woods

"J. Christopher Stevens, Glen A. Doherty, Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith leave a proud legacy of service and sacrifice that our country must never forget," Wyden said. "It's my honor to recognize these four brave Americans through bipartisan legislation that pays deserved tribute to their memories and to the inspirational lives they led."

In May 2021, a new 9.2-acre Oregon City park, the Tyrone S. Woods Memorial Park, was officially dedicated with a program that honored Woods for his 20 years of service as a U.S. Navy SEAL and a CIA protective officer.

With a unanimous vote of the Oregon Legislature in 2013, ODOT was directed to erect and maintain a "Fallen Hero Memorial Highway" sign for Woods on Highway 213. The sign was installed soon after a September 2014 ceremony.

Nonprofit organization Tyrone Snowden Woods Wrestling Foundation was created to honor Woods' achievement as a champion wrestler. The foundation has donated almost $80,000 to youth wrestlers and programs since 2016.

With September marking 10 years since the death of the four Americans in Benghazi, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Massachusetts, the sponsor of the bill, said "it's more than fitting" that the four Americans receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

As reported by The Hill, Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, said the four late Americans "served honorably and died in service to our country, adding that the measure "will honor these men with the recognition that they deserve."

"As we come upon the 10-year anniversary of their tragic deaths, we as a nation mourn the loss of these shining examples of our shared American values," said Maxine Waters, D-California, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. "And to their loved ones who carry their memories with them today and always, we offer our sincerest condolences and profound gratitude for their tireless efforts to preserve their legacy."


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