Logan County becomes first in Illinois and U.S. with all communities honoring Purple Heart

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[June 29, 2017]  LINCOLN -  On Thursday, June 15, a ceremony was held by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 159 in the Logan County Courthouse rotunda recognizing that all 11 villages and cities in the county have become Purple Heart Communities.



Veteran's advocate Joe Schaler led the local effort. State Representative Tim Butler along with State Senator Bill Brady helped get the legislation passed denoting Illinois as a Purple Heart State.



Schaler said Logan County is the first county in Illinois to have all its cities and villages become Purple Heart communities. And on a grander scale, Schaler discovered that Logan County is the first in the United States to achieve this special designation with all its communities signed.

Schaler thanked the county board for their support, especially noting the work done by former Board Chairman David Hepler and current Board Chairman Chuck Ruben.

Mayors and representatives from many of the cities and villages attended the evening ceremony that was held just prior to the Logan County Board's June workshop.

Schaler said he was humbled by working with all the mayors including Atlanta Mayor Fred Finchum, Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman, Mount Pulaski Mayor Jim Cole, Elkhart Mayor Lyle Fout, Emden Mayor Mike Cavanaugh, Hartsburg Mayor Norma Bathe, Latham Mayor Ted Allen, Middletown Mayor Kenny Johnson and New Holland Mayor Dave Scheckman.


Sadie Bolton of Lincoln played TAPS during the service. (photo by Melanie Schaler)

Schaler closed by reading a proclamation he had written describing the Purple Heart Award thanking soldiers for their sacrifice, and noting that all the cities and villages being Purple Heart communities is a tribute to our veterans.

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Proclamation
Purple Heart Communities


WHEREAS, the Cities of Atlanta, Lincoln and Mt. Pulaski, the Villages of Broadwell, Elkhart, Emden, Hartsburg, Latham, Middletown, New Holland, and San Jose and by virtue of Logan County being a Purple Heart County, we also recognize the contributions made by the veterans of the Villages of Beason, Lake Fork, Cornland, Chestnut, Burtonview, and Lawndale all of these Cities and Villages that reside in the Purple Heart State of Illinois, have always supported their military veteran population.;

WHEREAS, the Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the Badge of Merit by General George Washington in 1782;

WHEREAS, the Purple Heart was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common solider and is specifically awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or to the next of kind (Gold Star family) of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat with a declared enemy of the United States of American;
 

WHEREAS, 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, support legislative initiatives, with emphasis on ensuring that all the needed health and mental care is being provided as well as the compensation promised to all veterans. Promote patriotism, most importantly to make sure we never forget those that gave all of their tomorrows so we could have today;

WHEREAS, the citizens of Logan County appreciate the sacrifices our Purple Heart recipients made in defending our freedoms and believe it is important that we acknowledge them for their courage and show them the honor they have earned.

The members of the Hayes/Krell Memorial Chapter 159 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart are honored to recognize the Cities and Villages represented here this day, June 15th, 2017 as Purple Heart Communities.

[Angela Reiners]

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