HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council and military veterans celebrated the city’s designation as a Purple Heart City Monday night.
Representatives of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of Ohio and local veteran groups were on hand for the ceremony. Mayor Jeff Gore read a proclamation declaring Monday as Purple Heart Day and Huber Heights as a Purple Heart City to “confirm the city’s commitment to honor those who serve and have served so faithfully in defense of our freedoms as Americans and gratefully acknowledge their sacrifice, bravery, and unwavering commitment as patriots.”
The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a nationwide organization that provides assistance for veterans, education about military affairs, scholarships and also maintains a presence on Capitol Hill. Huber Heights is the 33rd place in Ohio to take on the title. Cities, villages and even college campuses are involved in the program.
Ohio Military Order of the Purple Heart Commander Jerry Ferris said the designation is a matter of pride for veterans.
“It’s something we didn’t look for, we didn’t go out searching for this, but because the duty called for it we did what was necessary in order to win the battle we were in,” he said after the ceremony. “But it’s really a sense of pride. When we dress in this purple people think of us, ‘Gee, we’re still here,’ but there are a lot of us that didn’t make it back. We’re the lucky ones here.”
City Council Member Janell Smith brought the idea of becoming a Purple Heart City to council. She said
it is a particularly appropriate designation for Huber Heights.
“We are honoring those who have sacrificed their lives or who have been injured in combat and that’s very important because we are a military community. It’s important that we support those who serve our country,” Smith said.
Visitors and residents will see visible reminders of the designation in the near future.
“My understanding is that we’re going to put Purple Heart signs at the gateway entrances to our city so when people come in they’ll be able to see we’re a Purple Heart City,” she said. “It also puts us on the Purple Heart Trail.”
Smith said she plans to donate four Purple Heart parking signs to the city that will designate spots for use by Purple Heart recipients and their families. She said she hopes they will be installed at city hall, the Rose Music Center, the YMCA and the senior center.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.