HIAWASSEE, Ga – Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw signed the Purple Heart County Proclamation during the July commission meeting.
“We support our veterans very strongly. The county supports them in every way we can,” Bradshaw stated.
Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Ryan McPherson attended to accept the proclamation and say a few words.
“It’s important that the way of life, American Values are founded on are never forgotten, faith, family, and freedom,” McPherson commented. “We must do all we can to remember and to protect those values. We must also remember American Military Servicemen. They come from all walks and backgrounds.”
McPherson received his badge after being injured during a tour of duty in 2008 in Iraq. He’s semi-retired and moved to Union County from Marietta, Georgia.
“The American soldier is the backbone of this great nation, and their sacrifice can never be understated or under-recognized,” McPherson remarked.
George Washington created the Purple Heart as a badge of military merit in 1782. He pinned it on three people. It was also the first American Service Award made available to the common soldier.
In recent wars, thousands of soldiers received Purple Hearts:
- 320,000 in World War I
- Over 1,000,000 in World War II
- 118,000 in the Korean War
- 351,000 in Vietnam
- 600 in the Persian Gulf
- 12,000 in Afghanistan
- 35,000 in Iraq
Towns County can now be recognized as a stop on the Purple Heart Trail which symbolically honors recipients across the nation.
“[It’s] a visual reminder to those who use our roadways that others have paid a high price for freedom for them to travel along those roads and to live in a free society,” McPherson added.
Military Order of the Purple Heart was established in 1992. It begins in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, and has designated sections in 45 states and Guam.