Around Town

Veterans group to mark Purple Heart Day

George W. Barnet Jr., chairman of the Westfield Purple Heart Trail, honors 80-year-old Richard Briggs, a Navy and Vietnam veteran, with a honorary membership in the Westfield Purple Heart Trail. (Submitted photo by Don Wielgus)

WESTFIELD — This week, the Westfield Purple Heart Trail team will visit veterans throughout the community, thanking them for their service, presenting them with a new American flag and toiletry items.

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the United States will celebrate Purple Heart Day, remembering those who served their country and were wounded.

“The purpose of the organization is to pay homage to the many who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today,” the Purple Heart Trail team wrote in a statement. “Many never came back to Westfield. We will not forget.”

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration. It has been awarded since 1917 in the name of the president, to those wounded or killed while serving in the military. It is the successor to the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth.

Members of the Westfield Purple Heart Trail will remember National Purple Heart Day on Saturday, Aug. 7. Gathered in downtown Westfield on Veterans Day 2020 were Joe Lesko, Mark Baldyga, Bob Regone, Ed Hempel, Neil Barnet, Mark Fedora and George Barnet. (Submitted photo by Don Wielgus)

In 2016, the city of Westfield designated Route 202 as the Purple Heart Trail, in recognition of veterans who have earned this decoration. The Purple Heart Trail team invites anyone interested in supporting the recognition of these veterans to write to them at Westfield Purple Heart Trail, P.O. Box 367, Westfield, MA 01086.

To Top