Defiance County, Ohio – A Purple Heart County
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, Defiance County, Ohio honored veterans with a parade and also with the Board of Defiance County Commissioners proclaiming Defiance County a “Purple Heart Community”, the second county in Ohio with Purple Heart designation. In a time when people are so busy and lives are so demanding, hundreds of citizens turned out to honor Defiance County veterans from all wars and from peace time. The Purple Heart Ceremony was reminiscent of events that took place in the early twentieth century – at the steps of the County Courthouse. A Purple Heart Flag presented by members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart was raised at the event. Road signs pronouncing Defiance County a “Purple Heart County” will be placed throughout the county – near schools and entryways to cities, villages and townships – in an effort to create awareness for the service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform wounded or killed by the enemy while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans.
A letter to the Defiance County Veteran’s Office from retired USMC Major General Lawrence Livingston, one of northwest Ohio’s most decorated veterans, was read at the ceremony and summed up the patriotism of Defiance County. “I was encouraged to hear of your designation of Defiance County as a Purple Heart County. It is heartwarming to know that despite the large number of Americans who have turned President John Kennedy’s words around to read “what can your country do for you,” there are still Americans in the heartland who strongly support our veterans. I commend the County Commissioners and you [Veterans Office] on your achievement, along with the rest of Defiance County who made this designation possible. Freedom is not free and the two most recent servicemen from Northwest Ohio who were WIA sadly remind us of that fact…Again, thanks to the Commissioners, you and all the other personnel involved in both the parade and achieving the Purple Heart designation. I would expect nothing less from Defiance County. ”