“As the grandson of a Purple Heart recipient for his service in the Battle of the Bulge and World War II, it is my privilege to stand before the Helena-West Helena City Council tonight to offer a unique opportunity to the City of Helena West Helena,” commented State Representative Chris Richey to the city council last Tuesday evening.
Ritchey reported that the opportunity detailed was designating the community as one of three “Purple Heart City” recipients in Arkansas.
The Purple Heart is the oldest decoration still be awarded and was initially created as the “Badge of Military Merit” by George Washington in 1782 stated Richey. Richey continued explaining that the Purple Heart was the first American military service decoration presented to the common solider and is specifically awarded to any members of the U.S. military wounded or killed in combat.
“Being declared a Purple Heart City is paying tribute to the men and women of our community and our nation who have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal, which is a reminder to all of us that others have paid a high price for freedom,” said Richey.
Richey reported that the proclamation ceremony would include a flag presentation from Comm. Jose Martinez, of Bella Vista and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Martinez will meet with the Marvell and Helena-West Helena city officials. Marvell has already accepted the honor.
The ceremony to make it official will take place Oct. 8 at 10 a.m.
Richey added that there would be a sign placed along the highway approaching the community at no cost to the city.
Richey added that the Purple Heart cities would be announced at the 7th annual Veterans Celebration in May 2014 by Martinez. A section of Highway 49 South has already been designated to honor all veterans within the city limits of Marvell called the Veterans Memorial Highway.
The “Purple Heart City” declaration differs from the “Purple Heart Trail,” which will follow the highway in Missouri through Marvell and Helena across the bridge.
The council approved the proclamation designating the city a “Purple Heart City.” Richey urged all Purple Heart recipients to attend the event.