Arkansas is honoring one of its greatest leaders at a memorial service being held in Harrison today.
Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, who died April 1 at age 92, spent 26 years representing Arkansas. He then spent 13 years as chairman of the Northwest Arkansas Council.
The memorial service is set for 2 p.m. today at First Presbyterian Church in Harrison. Today would have been Hammerschmidt’s 93rd birthday.
A graveside funeral service was held on Saturday.
Hammerschmidt’s accomplishments while in Congress were many, but the designation of the Buffalo National River was among the most important. It was the nation’s first national river. He served in Congress from 1966 until retiring in 1992.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, who called Hammerschmidt “an Arkansas icon,” ordered that U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff today in Hammerschmidt’s honor.
The Brandon Burlesworth Foundation posted a neat video tribute to Hammerschmidt on YouTube when the organization honored Hammerschmidt in 2011.