BRUNSWICK — City Council passed legislation last week officially declaring Brunswick a Purple Heart City.
According to Ward 2 Councilman Nick Hanek, the city has a longstanding tradition of supporting its military veteran population and has taken several additional steps in recent years to ensure that the veterans know they are appreciated for defending the nation’s freedoms.
Accordingly, Hanek said, the city has declared Wednesday, Aug. 7, Purple Heart Day in the city of Brunswick.
“We want to encourage the citizens of the city of Brunswick to show their appreciation for the sacrifices that the Purple Heart recipients have made in defending our freedoms by acknowledging their courage and to show them the honor and support they have earned,” Hanek said.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by Gen. George Washington in 1782. It was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier and is specifically awarded to members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat with a declared enemy of the Unites States.
The mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives and to make sure the nation never forgets.
Because Brunswick is home to a large, highly decorated veteran population – including many Purple Heart recipients – city officials took initiative in 2018 to honor the sacrifices the Purple Heart veterans have made. The city created new parking spaces designated exclusively for Purple Heart veterans throughout the city. One of those spaces is outside Brunswick City Hall while the others are located at the Brunswick Community Recreation and Fitness Center and the Brunswick Library.
Likewise, the city also has increased its efforts to become more cognizant of local residents, not only by dedicating space inside city hall to house plaques, photos and other memorabilia, but it also introduced an annual veteran’s breakfast in 2017 to salute those who gave their all.