Members of the The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 21 NY who accepted the proclamation last week were Jr. Vice Commander Eugene Lang of Yorktown, Commander Neil Gross and Service Office Eugene Parrotta.
The 'Purple Heart Town' proclamation means Somers is a town that honors veterans who have earned the Military Order of the Purple Heart, granted to all of the brave American warriors who have been wounded or killed in battle.
Lang told Patch members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 21 NY have been approaching towns in Westchester to ask officials to proclaim their towns 'Purple Heart' towns.
"The reason we ask towns to become ['Purple Heart'] towns is, for the town to honor all veterans from all wars," Lang said. "If we are lucky and the town puts up some kind of sign, and young children see it and ask their family why there is such a sign up, we hope they will explain that freedom is not free."
Someone – a veteran – had to sacrifice for their freedom, Lang said.
The 'Purple Heart' towns in Westchester are:
- Mount Kisco
- North Salem (officially to receive the proclamation on Sept. 24)
Lang, a Yorktown resident and Vietnam War veteran, was present and honored at the ceremony. He sustained a serious injury while serving with the 1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam on May 9, 1968. Lang was hit by enemy fire and suffered a shrapnel wound to his right knee. He received his Purple Heart 44 years later when U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer presented him with his award in August, 2012.