Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
On Wednesday, Aug. 2 dozens of Vietnam War veterans and local officials gathered at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow during the construction of the Traveling Vietnam War Memorial Wall to honor Purple Heart veterans.
Bob Chiappone, commander of the Military of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Chapter 417, led the ceremony for the Purple Heart veterans. The medal was placed at the apex of the memorial wall, a tradition since 1982 when a construction worker threw his brother’s Purple Heart medal into the apex of the memorial. Some say the wall has a heart and it is a living tribute to the wounded and deceased.
During the Purple Heart ceremony on Aug. 2, Sr. Vice Commander of Chapter 417 MOPH Bill Torres and Legislator Joseph Belisi, who is a Purple Heart recipient, placed the Purple Heart ceremonial wreath.
The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917. The Purple Heart is the oldest award still actively being given to military members. Since World War I, and through the Iraq War, nearly two million Purple Heart decorations have been awarded.