John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Greenville Town Council on Monday, Dec. 10, the Town of Greenville was designated a Purple Heart City, followed by a presentation by the Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Tallahassee Chapter. All council members were in attendance with the exception of Vice Mayor Teresa Harville, who was absent.
United States Marine Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Rick Stanford was on hand, and in full uniform, to present a brief history of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. "It has become lately quite a move for communities to do this and as a Purple Heart recipient myself, I really appreciate the effort that these cities and communities go to designate themselves as Purple Heart communities," said Lt. Col. (ret.) Stanford.
As the proclamation states, the people of the Town of Greenville in the state of Florida have great admiration and the utmost gratitude for all the men and women who have selflessly served their country and the Greenville community in the Armed Forces. Veterans have paid the high price of freedom by leaving their families and communities and placing themselves in harm's way for the good of all. The contributions and sacrifices of the men and women from Greenville who served in the Armed Forces have been vital in maintaining the freedoms and the way of life enjoyed by the citizens of Greenville.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the badge of military merit by General George Washington in 1782. 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, promote patriotism and assure that we never forget.
Many citizens of the Greenville community have earned the Purple Heart medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service. Local veterans associated with American Legion and Oliver Bradley, Madison County Veteran Service Officer, were on hand. The designation was proclaimed after a unanimous vote by the Greenville Town Council.
Patricia Hinton, a long-time resident of Greenville, also presented a graphic piece depicting the history of the Purple Heart. Her brother, John Marker, helped with the research for the graphic, which includes copies of the original order, written by President George Washington himself. The graphic was presented to the Town of Greenville on behalf of the Prince-Marker family, which is considered a gift that pays tribute to military veterans in a community, especially the Purple Heart recipient.