Traveling through Oregon this past summer, I noticed several “Purple Heart City” signs. I wondered what that meant. What makes a city a “Purple Heart City”? Is the mayor or other town resident a Purple Heart recipient? Does the town’s population have a larger than average percentage of veterans?
Being the research nerd that I am, I had to look it up. And since you’ve probably driven through a Purple Heart City in your RV travels, I thought you might like to know what I learned!
Come to find out It seems the only requirement for a city to become a Purple Heart City is gratitude.
In an article in the Mail Tribune from August, 15, 2015, John E. Bircher III, public relations director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was quoted as saying the Purple Heart City designation is, “an expression of gratitude to the sons and daughters of that community who gave their lives or were wounded in combat defending the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. Any city, county, state sports team, or any other entity can become a “Purple Heart” entity.”
In that same article, “Bircher explained that the typical Purple Heart City process involves the mayor and/or city council performing a proclamation, which then is presented to the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. In turn, the organization arranges as many Purple Heart recipients to attend the ceremony. The military order also provides the city a plaque commemorating the occasion, a Purple Heart flag the city can fly, particularly for National Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7, and “proud supporter” pins for everyone attending the ceremony.” (Source: The Mail Tribune, “No Requirements for ‘Purple Heart City’ Expression of Gratitude”, 8/15/15).
There are over 900 Purple Heart locations in the United States, honoring the 1.6 million Purple Heart recipients. So chances are you’ve driven through a few yourself!
There you have it; another RV Life mystery solved!
What fun RV Life questions would you like to see covered in this series? Let me know and I may choose your idea to research and write about!