Senator James L. Seward today urged area recipients of the Purple Heart Medal and their families to get registered for induction in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. The hall is slated to open in November in Vails Gate, Orange County, the heart of New York’s historic Hudson Valley region.
"Athletes, actors and musicians have countless halls of fame and other venues to celebrate their accomplishments. Now, I am happy to report, heroes of a higher order will also have a hall in their honor," said Senator Seward. "I am asking for my constituents to contact my office if they know of a Purple Heart Recipient from our area, or to directly contact the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor."
Seward urged area residents with information on Purple Heart recipients to contact the hall at P.O. Box 207, Vails Gate, N.Y., 12584 or at 845-561-1765. For more information, on line users may contact www.nysparks.com and click on the Purple Heart Medal on the right side of the web page.
The New Windsor Cantonment Historic Site in Vails Gate, Orange County, was designated by The Military Order of the Purple Heart to be the hall’s permanent site because of its historic significance: It was the final winter camp of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army during the American Revolution. The purple cloth Badge of Merit that Gen. Washington presented to a select few of his troops was the inspiration for The Purple Heart Medal. The image of Washington was added to the color and shape of the Badge of Merit, and in 1932, the first new Purple Heart medals were given to 150 veterans of World War I on the same historic grounds in New Windsor, New York.
The Purple Heart Medal has been awarded to nearly 2 million brave Americans who have been wounded or killed in combat in service to their country. The Purple Heart Hall of Honor plans to preserve the extraordinary stories of all medal recipients, deceased or alive, through videotaped interviews, photos, letters and other mementos, as well as an Internet connection to classrooms and libraries.
"There are countless local heroes whose courageous tales need to be told," added Senator Seward. "Let’s help ensure that future generations around the world learn of the significant sacrifices made by past generations in the name of liberty."