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Another Voice: The Purple Heart medal keeps memories of valor alive

By Russell D. Ward

As a Purple Heart medal recipient and advocate to promote honoring those soldiers killed in America’s wars, I continue on. As one of many soldiers who survived our wartime obligations, we have been chosen to guard the door to which all those soldiers passed through to their death in defense of America’s principles and freedoms. It is our job to make sure they are never forgotten.

Since joining with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 187, we have worked with Erie County and the City of Buffalo to make them both Purple Heart communities. We have two Purple Heart monuments, one being at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, and the other at Patriots and Heroes Park on Transit Road in Williamsville. The Erie County Clerk’s Office is now collecting Purple Heart recipients’ names from all America's wars to be signed into a Purple Heart Honor Roll book.

Members of our chapter will speak at various gatherings to tell the story of the Purple Heart. We welcome all communities and organizations to contact us to become Purple Heart designated to show honor for those soldiers who unfortunately sacrificed the most in combat of war.

Using murderous violence against unarmed innocent American citizens is an act of a cowardice gone wild and should be dealt with in the harshest of ways. Our efforts will hopefully go forward to impress all citizens of Buffalo, Erie County and visitors (especially the young) to make all understand, a million plus soldiers have sacrificed their lives to permit us to live in freedom.

America’s freedoms were not handed to us. As a nation we fought for our freedoms. Our many rights of equality for all national origins, religions, races, nationalities, genders and ages has elevated our country to being the greatest nation in the world.

No matter what evil violence persists to dispel us from our God-given right to peace and harmony, we will overcome. All attempts of foreign or domestic terrors to derail our right to live in peace that was so valiantly sacrificed in combat of war will be dealt with justifiably. It is not for us to dwell upon evil or mistakes of the past. Locally and nationally we must continue to promote the Purple Heart medal to impress upon all citizens to live in peace and harmony to honor those who have sacrificed their lives.

Russell D. Ward, of the Town of Tonawanda, belongs to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

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