Commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the historic D-Day invasion and recognizing the sacrifice of all military members who have been wounded or killed while serving the nation in a time of war, the Hunterdon County Board of Freeholders declared the County a “Purple Heart Community,” during the June 6th Freeholder meeting.
Joined by members of the Chapter 700 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, including D-Day veteran Richard Betts, the Freeholders approved a resolution stating, “the Purple Heart signifies the sacrifices made by many generations of United States’ Military. The Freeholder do hereby proclaim that honor and gratitude be bestowed upon Purple Heart recipients, and all veterans who risked their lives for our freedom.”
Freeholder Director John E. Lanza stated, “We who live in freedom owe an unpayable debt to those who have risked and sacrificed so much to protect our nation, particularly the Purple Heart awardees who were wounded or killed in the line of duty. The Freeholders are honored to join with communities throughout the country in having our County designated a Purple Heart Community.
Vietnam veterans who are members of Chapter 700, Marines Kevin Cahalan, Adam Mackow, and John Paulus, and Army veteran Joseph Diaz, joined Mr. Betts, a Navy veteran, in presenting several road signs that will be placed on various county roadways recognizing Hunterdon County as a Purple Heart Community.
The Purple Heart, first awarded during World War I, is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members. It is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, has been wounded or killed while serving. National Geographic estimated, in a 2009 report, that nearly 2 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since 1917.