Belmont Remembers Those Whose Sacrifice In Combat Were Awarded The Purple Heart

Photo: Honoring those awarded the Purple Heart.

On a return to summer on Saturday morning, Aug. 7, a dedicated number of residents, public safety personnel and town officials came to the Belmont Veterans Memorial off Concord Avenue to honor all who earned the nation’s oldest military award.

At the town’s annual Purple Heart Day Ceremony, “we want to show our honor, respect and appreciation to each of our Purple Heart recipients,” said Bob Upton, Belmont’s Veterans Services Officers who hosts the year event.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded in a war zone and given posthumously to the next of kin of those killed in action or died of their wounds while in action. The familiar heart shaped medal with the bust of Washington was designed in 1932 replacing the cloth Badge of Military Merit that was first awarded in 1782.

“It’s interesting that the metal is purple,” said Adam Dash, chair of the Select Board, in his opening remarks. “The color is not red or blue, right or left. It’s a blend of both colors and beliefs because self sacrifice knows no politics.”

“Military uniforms do not designate race, creed or political persuasion. Soldiers fight for United States of America, not for a faction. They put aside their personal political thoughts to do their duty and risk their health, all for the love of country,” said Dash.

Guest speaker Belmont resident Paul Mutch, a retired Sgt. Major in the USMC reserves, said it was important when the statistics of those killed and wounded in conflicts are reported that we do not allow ourselves to focus only on the numbers.

“I asked you pause each time and take a moment to consciously realize that there is a name and face associated with each number. It is a service member, a human who has life has been forever been impacted by a specific violent event in the service of our country. And with our service member, we might find a husband, a wife, a child, a parent, a brother, a sister, relatives and friends that most likely number in the hundreds who are also touched by the strategy Think about the magnitude of impact,” said Mutch.

“Those who wear the Purple Heart paid a significant price for us all. And those who are awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, may be able to pay the ultimate price.”

Purple Heart Ceremony Set For Wed., Aug. 7 Come Rain Or Shine

Photo: There could a change of location of the ceremony due to the weather

The Town of Belmont will honor and observe National Purple Heart Day on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.

Just where will depend on the weather. If the rain expected to arrive around noon stays away, the ceremony will take place at the main entrance of the Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Ave.

If the waterworks starts early, the celebration will take place at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.

Residents of Belmont, veterans and their family members and in particular all of those who are Purple Heart recipients are invited to attend this special event. 

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded by an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

Belmont To Honor Purple Heart Recipients Tuesday, Aug. 7

Photo: Saluting the flag from the 2016 observation.

The Town of Belmont will honor and observe National Purple Heart Day on Tuesday, August 7 at 10 a.m. at the main entrance of the Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Ave.

Residents of Belmont, veterans and their family members and in particular all of those who are Purple Heart recipients are invited to attend this special event. 

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded by an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although membership is restricted to the combat wounded, the organization supports all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.

Belmont Purple Heart Recipients To Be Honored Monday

Photo: This year’s poster.

Belmont will observe its wounded veterans at the 2017 National Purple Heart Day Observance and Recognition Ceremony on Monday, Aug. 7, according to the town’s Veteran Service Officer, Bob Upton.

The ceremony will take place on the front steps of the Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Ave.,  at 10 a.m. with guest speaker Belmont resident US Marine Corp Colonel Michael J. Callanan who served as an Operations Officer in Iraq as well as USMC Battalion Commander in Afghanistan.

The public is invited to attend this event and to join with us in honoring and showing our appreciation to our Purple Heart recipients on this important occasion.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded by an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although membership is restricted to the combat wounded, the organization supports all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.

Belmont Recognized as Purple Heart Community

Photo: Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart saluting the flag during the National Anthem.

Speaking before Purple Heart recipients and residents on Friday, Belmont Asst. Police Chief  James MacIsaac told the story of three young Belmont residents who died in defense of their country. 

James Paul White (whom the White Field House is named after) killed in 1944 and friends Teddy Lee and Donny Ray who died in Vietnam were just three of hundreds of Belmont residents from the Civil War to Afghanistan whose “stories needed to be told to ensure that the residents of Belmont never forget the young people from Belmont who have answered the call to war time and time again,” said MacIsaac.

It was on that theme of sacrifice for the country that on Friday, April 22, in front of Belmont Public Library with the Belmont Hill School’s a capella group The B-flats singing the National Anthem; Belmont was formally recognized as a Purple Heart Community by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Belmont’s Veteran Services Agent, Bob Upton received a plaque from officers of the Order before veterans, town officials, residents and the handful of Belmontians who were honored with the medal in defense of the country. Belmont is now one of 86 municipalities which “shows our appreciation to our combat wounded, Purple Heart recipients.”

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members. 

In his keynote speech, MacIsaac told the story of a message that was reportedly found in an old sentry box in Gibraltar.

“God and the soldier all men adore, in a time of trouble and no more. For when war is over and all things righted, God is neglected, and the old soldier is slighted.” 

“It’s a timeless quote that I think we can all agree has some truth to it,” said MacIsaac.

“That’s why I think it is important for the cities and towns that make up this nation to make an effort to remember and recognize those that served and those that were wounded or killed in action in the service of their country,” he said.

“I’m very happy that Belmont has made a step, by being designated a Purple Heart Community, that will help ensure that our old soldiers are not slighted but remembered for their service to our town and country, and I’m honored to partaking in this morning’s ceremony,” said MacIsaac. 

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