Purple Heart heroes to be honored

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By Eryn Worthington


CRYSTAL RIVER — In respect of Florida’s fallen heroes and America’s wounded warriors, the Purple Heart is an eminent emblem of selfless sacrifice.

To commemorate the Purple Heart, the combat wounded Patriots of Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) invite all veterans, families and the public to attend the eighth annual Purple Heart Ceremony. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Florida National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St., Crystal River.

The ceremony will feature the MOPH Department of Florida Afghanistan/Iraq War Memorial Portrait Mural. The mural pays tribute to more than 300 Floridians who have fallen during the Afghanistan/Iraq campaigns and is the first memorial to bear the engraved names and color portraits of those who sacrificed their lives. 

Richard Hunt, alternate executive committeeman, said the attendees will include several Silver Star recipients, as well as a local mother of a living Medal of Honor recipient. Hunt said many heroes will be in the audience, and will receive distinguished honors.

“This is a rare opportunity for families and the communities to come out and learn about the heroes and to give their respect,” Hunt said.

Last year, more than 500 attended the ceremony. A crowd of at least 600 is anticipated this year. 

In addition, the eight Citrus County soldiers who have died in action will be acknowledged. Patriot Riders and the Young Marines will contribute to this year’s ceremony. Patriotic music will be provided to accompany the service.

Chronicle reporter Eryn Worthington can be contacted at 352-563-5660, ext. 1334, or eworthington@chronicleonline.com. 


* www.citruspurpleheart.org; 352- 382-3847.