AVON — Town Administrator Gregory S. Enos and the Avon Board of Selectmen are pleased to announce that the Town of Avon has been declared a Purple Heart Community.
The Purple Heart medal is presented to U.S. military service members who have been wounded or killed by enemy fire. It was originally awarded by George Washington in 1782 to recognize meritorious service in combat. It is the nation’s oldest and one of the most distinguished military awards.
The community designation is given by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat wounded veterans that works on legislative initiatives and provides services for veterans and their families.
“The Purple Heart is a very significant medal. It has a long history and is the first meritorious service medal ever presented to a soldier in the U.S. by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War,” said Avon’s Veterans Service Officer Dale Kurtz. “We do so much to recognize veterans, as we should, and we very much honor those who died in war. But, it is equally important to recognize the large number of veterans who suffered injuries in combat, and we don’t always do as much to recognize them and their sacrifices.”
Town of Avon Selectman Eric Beckerman, Town Administrator Enos and Veterans Service Officer Kurtz worked to establish the town as a Purple Heart Community after being approached by a resident whose husband was a Purple Heart recipient.
To begin the process of receiving the designation, the town had to identify Avon veterans who received a Purple Heart. After ensuring the town had met the qualifications to become a Purple Heart community, a proclamation was drafted and presented to the Avon Board of Selectmen to declare the town a Purple Heart Community.
“We have a number of veterans in the Avon community and they should be honored as often as possible for their service,” Selectman Beckerman said. “I truly believe that our society can never say thank you enough to the brave men and women who have and continue to serve our country with distinction. I felt that having our town become a Purple Heart Community is a lasting way for us to say thank you.”
Becoming a Purple Heart Community also means the Town of Avon will join the Purple Heart Trail, a national network of roads, bridges, highways and other monuments and trails honoring service members who have received the Purple Heart. The town is in the process of installing signs at various entry points into town displaying Avon’s Purple Heart Community designation. The town will also fly a flag every Aug. 7 in recognition of Purple Heart Day.
The town will host a ceremony to recognize the designation on Aug. 7. Additional details about the ceremony will be shared as they become available.
“This was an important initiative for us to complete because we know how meaningful it is for our Avon residents who have been awarded the Purple Heart, as well as their families,” Town Administrator Enos said. “We hope that through this proclamation and the ceremony that will follow in August, additional Purple Heart recipients in Avon will come forward and we can recognize them and honor their service.”
Avon residents who are Purple Heart recipients are encouraged to contact Veterans Services Officer Kurtz at 508-613-1315 so the town can add them to a registry as a way to recognize and honor their service.