memorial to Purple Heart recipients
Historic Preservation Agency receives
memorial in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery
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[August 17, 2016]
Ill. – A new memorial to recipients of the Purple Heart medal opened
Sunday in the collection of military monuments operated by the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
The official dedication took place on national Purple Heart Day
in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The memorial honors all Illinois recipients of the medal, which is
awarded to military personnel killed or wounded in combat.
The memorial was built by the Hayes-Krell Memorial Chapter 159 of
the Military Order of the Purple Heart with assistance from Staab
Monument Co., Massie Massie Landscape Architects and Siciliano Inc.
It was then turned over to the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency, along with an endowment to support its upkeep in years
ahead. The Purple Heart Memorial stands amid state-operated
monuments honoring the men and women who served in World War II, the
Korean War and the Vietnam War.
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“We hope this memorial reminds the people of Illinois of the tremendous
sacrifices made by military personnel in all conflicts. We owe them a huge
debt,” said Heidi Brown-McCreery, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency. “Our thanks go out to the Military Order of the Purple Heart and to the
businesses who made this memorial possible.”
Oak Ridge Cemetery, location of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, receives
more visitors each year than any other cemetery except Arlington National
The Purple Heart is America’s oldest military award, tracing its roots back to
medals authorized by Gen. George Washington in 1782. Nearly two million have
been awarded since World War I.
The memorial is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. IHPA
protects the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture
and the economy. IHPA sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings
erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.
[Shanta Thoele, Executive Secretary,
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]