purple heart

The Purple Heart medal, awarded to U.S. service personnel wounded in action.

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BENNINGTON — Gov. Phil Scott has issued an executive proclamation honoring Vermont veterans who are Purple Heart medal recipients.

The proclamation was requested by Rep. Mary Morrissey, R-Bennington 2-2, who last year asked the town Select Board to issue a similar statement.

The governor’s announcement comes in advance of Aug. 7, which is the national day to honor veterans who have been wounded during their service and awarded the medal.

Scott said this week that Sunday will also be the official day of recognition in Vermont.

Morrissey is an auxiliary member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Bennington.

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At her request and that of local veterans, the Bennington Select Board in November proclaimed the town a Purple Heart Community and designated Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day, to be marked annually.

“I am pleased that the governor signed this executive proclamation that further honors our veterans who are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal,” Morrissey said. “The Purple Heart Medal is one of the highest honors that a veteran can receive because of their brave service.”

She added, “It is important for us as a nation, a state and our communities to remember and honor the sacrifice of our veterans who have served our country in the armed forces. They are the true heroes who selflessly served to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today.”

“I think the proclamation issued by the [Select Board] last November speaks to the community’s support and appreciation of those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” said Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd. “August 7, this coming Sunday, is the nationally recognized Purple Heart Day here and throughout the United States.”

The governor’s proclamation states in part that the “Purple Heart is the oldest American military decoration and was created as the Badge of Military Merit, made of purple cloth in the shape of a heart with the word ‘Merit’ sewn upon it, on August 7, 1782, in Newburgh, New York, by General George Washington, then reestablished as the Purple Heart on February 22, 1932, by General Douglas MacArthur.”

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com