Weston is the latest Broward County city to become a Purple Heart City. The City Commission recently issued the proclamation to Lewis Colon, of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. It is his goal to enlist all 31 municipalities in honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation’s men and women of the armed services wounded or killed by the enemy, while protecting the freedoms our country enjoys.
In issuing the proclamation, Mayor Stermer recognized the former Weston residents who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives in the cause of freedom as well as the numerous combat-wounded veterans who currently live in Weston and deserve to be honored.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still in present use. Created by General George Washington in 1782 as the “Badge of Military Merit,” the Purple Heart was the first American Service Award available to the common soldier. Over the years, the criteria for which it was awarded has changed. Today, the Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the United States Armed Services wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the U.S., including certain kinds of domestic terrorist activities.
The current medal, which was developed by General Douglas MacArthur in 1932, features a purple heart bordered in gold with a bust of General Washington in the center and the Washington coat of arms at the top. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the heritage the medal represents is sacred to those who understand the price paid to wear it.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart was chartered by an act of Congress in 1958. Its mission is to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat-wounded veteran members and their families. One of the ways it is doing this is by enlisting municipalities to become a Purple Heart City.
In recognition of becoming a Purple Heart City, George Caffrey, Chair of the Veterans Coalition of the Elks Lodge, presented the City of Weston with a Purple Heart flag. During the City Commission meeting it was held by Weston veterans including Commissioner Margaret Brown and members of the audience.