Many made trip to West Point, Purple Heart Hall possible
On October 19, seven Gold Star families and 16 Purple Heart recipient’s families, guest chaplain, Army Col. Gary Howard, (Ret.), volunteer Utica Fire Department EMT Dan Clark, and volunteer photographer Herman vanOoijen traveled to West Point Military Academy and to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
On behalf of the members of the CNY Chapter 490 Military Order of the Purple Heart, we thank all who supported and made possible our bus trip to honor the sacrifices of our fallen and the sacrifices of those wounded who served our nation.
We thank the Notre Dame NJROTC for standing tall as our color guard as Fred Griffith played our national anthem prior to our departure. We thank the many first responders, the NYS Police, Oneida County deputies, New Hartford PD, Utica PD, Herkimer County deputies, Herkimer PD, for escorting us to the Herkimer NYS Thruway entrance. We thank the Newburgh, NY PD, New Windsor, NY PD and the High Point Cruisers Car Club with their Red, White, and Blue cars for meeting our bus and escorting us to West Point and to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor where the fallen sons of our Gold Star families and the attending Purple Heart recipients were enrolled into the Honor Roll.
The mission of the national Purple Heart Hall of Honor is “to collect, preserve and share the stories or Purple Heart Recipients from all branches of service and across generations to ensure that all recipients are represented.” We also thank West Point Band Soloist, MSG. MaryKay Messenger, for singing the national anthem and God Bless America at our luncheon.
Our special trip was looked at as a pilot program by the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., to start Honor Flights across the nation for Purple Heart recipients to bring them to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, and West Point Military Academy and area, starting in 2018.
— Joseph T. Fraccola,
New Hartford, commander,
CNY Chapter #490 Military Order of the Purple Heart