Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Way To Learn

A Purple Heart is not a discoloration of that all-important muscle inside one's chest. My daughter admitted that was her belief when she was a child.

A Purple Heart Medal is a symbol first established by George Washington, then, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. His order read in part, "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen."

Authorized by Congress in 1932, awards of the Purple Heart total 1,345,701. (376,801 were battle deaths and 968,900 were wounded)

This medal is not one to be sought. Parents don't rear children to aspire to possessing this honor. Scars, disfigurements, or death can accompany this recognition. In a perfect world there would be no awarding of this medal.

Since most people haven't seen the actual medal or may be unfamiliar with its meaning, the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart has set up a display at the Reynolda Branch of the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Public Library. The exhibit will be there from October 20 through the end of November. See the actual medal in the top picture.

The display idea was initiated by James Schaller and wife, Carol, who are newcomers to Winston-Salem from Buffalo, New York. Jim is one of 250 Purple Heart Medal recipients in Forsyth and surrounding counties in the local MOPH Chapter 638. Carol is a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary. The chapter raises money and volunteers time to assist veterans at the VA hospitals in Salisbury and Asheville, and the VA Clinic in Winston-Salem.

Visit the Reynolda Library to see the exhibit and click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Have a good week!


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