PALMER, MASS. (WWLP) – National Purple Heart Day, a day that is about honoring the sacrifices servicemen and women have made for their country.
A Purple Heart medal is one of the oldest combat medals in the military and it’s awarded to U.S. service members who have been wounded or killed in war.
The Palmer community gathered Saturday to pay tribute to their local Purple Heart veterans. Main Street proudly bearing the names of the over 50 Palmer residents who hold the honor.
“A day like this to honor the Purple Heart Veterans it really gets me down to my heart,” said William Byrnes, a Purple Heart Veteran of the U.S. Army.
Melissa Storey of Palmer was there to honor her late husband, Staff Sergeant Clint Joseph Storey of the U.S. Army, who was a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. He was killed while serving in Iraq.
“My kids and I, we don’t forget. This is everyday for us,” said Storey. “This keeps him alive, this keeps him remembered. This keeps his name.”
Saturday’s ceremony included the singing of the national anthem and the west over ARB Honor Guard. Veterans and their families looked on, all coming together to pay tribute for a touching moment, never forgetting the ultimate sacrifice that was made.
“The tragedy that they went through, the recovery, the impact on the family, all those things are vitally important and it’s just so we can enjoy our way of life and be free,” said Troy Brian, a Veterans Agent for the town and a Purple Heart veteran.