The 7th of August now has special meaning for residents of Auburn, Federal Way, and Pacific. Thanks to the combined efforts of Roger Flygare(Commander, VFW Post 1741), Nancy Backus(Mayor, City of Auburn), Jim Ferrell(Mayor, City of Federal Way), Leanne Guier(Mayor, City of Pacific), and the City Council of Federal Way August 7th is now Purple Heart Recognition Day.
These proclamations show that the White River Valley VFW Post 1741 is actively working with elected officials in the cities of Auburn, Federal Way, and Pacific. These proclamations demonstrate that our local elected officials value the sacrifices veterans have made to this country. And are committed to the same principles of democracy, individual freedom, and human rights as the many brave men and women who wear it.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military award in the United States. It was initially introduced by Gen. George Washington in 1782 to recognize meritorious service. It was revived in 1932 through the efforts of Gen Douglas MacArthur to commemorate the bicentennial of Gen Washington’s birth. It wasn’t until World War II was in full swing in 1942 that the criteria were finalized that it be awarded for wounds or death in combat against enemies of the United States, and made available to members of all branches of the Armed Services.
The Cities of Auburn, Federal Way and Pacific have taken extraordinary steps to recognize the brave service of all recipients. A Purple Heart City is a city that has taken the time to formally, and publicly recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s combat wounded veterans. The declaration of a city as a Purple Heart City requires the declaration of the mayor of said city, or the approval of the city council. To have our Mayors and city councils recognize this during these times is incredible.
As we continue to navigate the "new normal” of our world these proclamations show that we are still working for our veterans even during difficult times. Even better, these proclamations show that our local leaders are involved and responsive to the needs of their constituents and actively work to foster relations with community resources. Roger Flygare, commander of Post 1741(and Purple Heart recipient) said he was happy for the "opportunity to help our communities celebrate and honor veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart.”
As we welcome a new year we welcome the opportunities that we still have to serve our brothers and sisters in the community. And we look forward to a continued and improving relationship with these wonderful civic partners.