2 min read
Posted on 07.07.14
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 07.07.14

John D. Dismer, Missouri State Adjutant to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, wrote to Mayor Francis Slay in mid-June. He told the Mayor his organization was "honored" by St. Louis having become a "Purple Heart City."

St. Louis is one of many cities across the country that, through a formal designation, pay tribute to this oldest of battlefield decorations and to the men and women who have earned it. The Purple Heart was the first service award made available to the common soldier, sailor, airman, or marine. It is conferred on Members of the Armed Forces who die or who are wounded at the hands of an enemy.

St. Louis has produced its share of Purple Heart recipients, and was honored to be invited to become a Purple Heart City.

Mr. Dismer included with his letter a graphic representation of a roadway sign approved by the Missouri Department of Transportation, one that confirms a community's status as a "Purple Heart City." He said his organization was "interested in promoting visual reminders of the high price that has been paid for our freedoms." 

We agree with that mission.

The surest and most enduring way for a community to display its loyalty to veterans of foreign wars, of course, is by warmly and actively welcoming them home. We best can demonstrate our gratitude for their sacrifice in very practical ways, such as by fulfilling the promises we have made to help veterans and their families with their return to civilian life, by providing real opportunities for employment, education, training, good healthcare, and involvement in community life.

But visual reminders of service and sacrifice are a part of this equation. Watch for the first Purple Heart City sign.

(Photo: American flags placed in tribute to those who serve. Photo Credit: The Big Picture Project, Michael DeFilippo.)