Hoosick declared a Purple Heart community

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick town board unanimously approved a resolution at its July 13 board meeting proclaiming the town a Purple Heart community.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. "...who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action." It is specifically a combat decoration.

The work to gather the names of Hoosick residents who earned a Purple Heart began in January. To date, 174 names have been added to the list.

"The first 102 names were easy to find, people who were killed in action," said Joyce Brewer, the executive director of the Hoosick Historical Society. "Then from there, we went through newspaper articles and were able to come up with more. Mary Kipp used to clip out stories about the war veterans and we read through all the articles to get more names."

The undertaking began when state senator Daphne Jordan, the senator for the 43rd district, which includes Hoosick, gave the town information on how to declare the town as a Purple Heart town.

"She was amazed we had that many names, she thought it was a huge undertaking, but it really wasn't," Brewer said.

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The 102 men killed in action are already honored as part of the historical society's Liberty Tribute Program that started in 2012.

"We had a flag that we nicknamed Liberty and sent it to cemeteries where Hoosick servicemen were buried," Brewer said. "It's gone to seven different countries."

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The Liberty Memorial Park at the Maple Grove cemetery was dedicated in 2017.

Most of the names are from the Civil War through World War II. A handful come from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, while few are from the more recent conflicts in the Middle East.

"There's no true record of [Purple Heart recipients] after Korea, so there's more, I'm sure," Brewer said. "That why we need families to let us know."

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On National Purple Heart Day, Aug. 7, there will be a ceremony at Wood Park at 6 p.m. to honor all of the local veterans who have been awarded a Purple Heart.

This event is sponsored by the American Legion Post 40 and the Historical Society.

After the ceremony, the Legion will take charge of the effort to continue to gather names.

"The [ceremony] is not going to be as big as we would want it to be because of [coronavirus]," Brewer said. "We're going to have some [local politicians] talk during the ceremony as well."

Visit the historical society's website at www.hoosickhistory.com for the list and for the enrollment form. You can also stop at TrustCo Bank in Hoosick Falls to view the list and obtain an enrollment form.


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