Relatives of a deceased World War II veteran who was a prisoner of war were presented with his Purple Heart Medal and Purple Heart Certificate Saturday, ending a months-long effort to put those honors in the hands of the man's family.
Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, had been notified earlier this year by the U.S. Postal Service that the 1944 document belonging to Henry Mazurkiewicz had been discovered but could not be delivered. So the congressman went to work trying to locate the corporal's relatives.
Higgins’ staff attempted to put together a family tree, but was unable to determine who was Mazurkiewicz's next of kin. On Purple Heart Day, Aug. 7, Higgins asked for the public's help in trying to locate relatives.
Nieces were found after members of the community learned of the search through local media reports. The medal and document were presented Saturday, two days ahead of Veterans Day, by Higgins and officials in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 187, in the Larkin at Exchange Building.