PEPPERELL -- Selectmen issued a proclamation on Oct. 15 declaring Pepperell a "Purple Heart Town," joining other towns throughout the state that have recognized those who were injured or killed in combat while serving their country.
Selectman Michelle Gallagher read the proclamation, which honored the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women from Pepperell who have served in the Armed Forces.
"Our community has a proud tradition of military service and many of our citizens have earned the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service," the proclamation reads.
The proclamation served as recognition for the sacrifices that have been made by Pepperell residents, and is similar to declarations that have been issued by other towns throughout Massachusetts, including Clinton and Westborough. The Purple Heart Town designations are part of a national effort by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
"I have the utmost respect for the veterans in our community and around the whole U.S.," Gallagher said, after reading the proclamation.
Although selectmen said they did not have an exact number of how many Pepperell residents have been awarded the Purple Heart, Chair Stephen Themelis said there have been many.
Marine Cpl. Kevin Hayes, clerk of the Global War on Terrorism Monument Committee, called the recognition a "wonderful token of appreciation" from the town of Pepperell.
"It is important to remember all who have sacrificed at the smallest levels: the families, friends, the community and most importantly, the Purple Heart veterans, along with the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice," Hayes said. "I know Pepperell is a very patriotic town and has helped those deployed and the veterans that have returned in so many ways with their support and hospitable nature."
Hayes, whose committee is working to build a memorial to GWOT veterans near the rotary in Pepperell, said the town's recognition of veterans is greatly appreciated.
"I think all that can truly be said is thank you to the town of Pepperell for always having our backs and remembering those who did not come back, as well as their families," he said.
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