O'Brien praises America's Purple Heart recipients

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien issued the following statement today, on the occasion of the 231st anniversary of the creation of the Purple Heart award by George Washington while he was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army:

“Today, on Purple Heart Day, we honor America’s bravest military servicemen and women, both past and present.

The Purple Heart is America’s oldest military decoration, established by General George Washington in 1782 to recognize exceptional examples of heroism and sacrifice among members of our armed services.

Today is especially important for Rochester and the Finger Lakes region as we celebrate US Navy Armed Guardsman and Fairport resident Lyle Dupra, who received a belated Purple Heart in 2002 for injuries he sustained during the Second World War. This year, I had the honor of recommending Mr. Dupra for induction into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame. We will forever be grateful for his courage and bravery.

The country’s Purple Heart recipients are truly the heart and soul of freedom in America today. May we continue to honor their legacy and service.”


Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

The association of the Purple Heart with a wound or fatality suffered in the line of meritorious service dates to the early 1930s, when the award was reintroduced after a long period of inactivity. Ten years later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt extended the use of the award to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. President John F. Kennedy extended the award to anyone serving in any capacity with any branch of the armed forces who has been wounded as the result of enemy action.

Media contact:

Thomas J. Morrisey
Communications Director
office: (585) 218-0034
e-mail: tjmorris@nysenate.gov