Parma Recognized As A Purple Heart Community
Parma was recently named a Purple Heart Community. During an October city council meeting, American Legion Post 572’s Honor Guard posted the colors and assisted in a Purple Heart ceremony. Several veterans attended the special meeting. Randy Howson, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was the special guest speaker at the ceremony. An Army Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Howson presented Mayor Tim DeGeeter with Purple Heart Community signs and a plaque. Purple Heart cities are known for their commitment to veterans. Parma is home to many military families, active duty and retired service members and has active veteran groups such as American Legion Ohio Post 572. Those traveling into the city can now see Purple Heart Community signs at the city's main entryways.
The Purple Heart medal is the oldest military decoration. Gen. George Washington created the medal during the Revolutionary War on Aug. 7, 1782. There are about 1.8 million recipients of this prestigious honor. Parma is now part of the Purple Heart Trail, established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart as a symbolic trail throughout all 50 states honoring men and women who have been wounded or given their lives in combat while serving in the U.S. armed forces. In Ohio, 56 organizations and 39 cities have earned this designation.
The idea for the Purple Heart distinction came about when DeGeeter was reading an article in Ohio Municipal League’s Cities and Villages magazine. The article explained how a city can become a Purple Heart Community. The application process began when the Mayor’s Office contacted the Military Order of the Purple Heart in March 2021. He explained why the city made the request: "The distinction is a way to honor wounded veterans while reminding citizens and travelers that our city respects those who gave their lives for their country. In the past, the city has recognized World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans at special ceremonies. It was fitting that we also honor Purple Heart recipients."
For more information on the Military Order of the Purple Heart, visit www.purpleheart.org.
Carolyn J. Kovach
Director of Communications, City of Parma, Mayor's Office