BEREA, Ohio — The City of Berea has been named a Purple Heart City, which honors the military men and women who have received the Purple Heart Medal.
On Thursday, local veterans who have received the Purple Heart were recognized during a ceremony conducted by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
As a Purple Heart City, Berea is now part of the Purple Heart Trail, which commemorates all those killed or wounded in combat.
“We honor those who have received the Purple Heart by becoming a Purple Heart City,” said Chaplain Willie Springer, veterans outreach coordinator and army combat veteran of Vietnam. “Berea is home to many military families, veterans and retired service members. We appreciate the sacrifices made for all by men and women who serve and have served."
Throughout Ohio, 56 organizations and 39 cities have earned this designation.
“We want everyone to know whether they're visiting here and the residents, that Berea is a patriotic city and we're supportive of our veterans,” said Mayor Cyril Kleem.
A city is designated as a Purple Heart City when it shows commitment to veterans and those that have received the Purple Heart. In 2018, the city established a Veterans Outreach to help veterans and their families in the area.
Berea is the only city in Ohio that belongs to “We Honor Veterans,” a partnership with the Veterans Administration.
“When you see a sign that says, welcome to Purple Heart City, it's a quiet way to say thank you to the veterans that don't want recognition, refuse any kind of notoriety. And it's a quiet way to say thank you for your service and we appreciate you,” said Randy Howson, an army veteran of Vietnam and a Purple Heart recipient.
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