At Monday night's council meeting, Cornelius proclaimed itself a Purple Heart City, joining more than 15 other Oregon communities in recognizing those who were wounded or killed in combat for their country.
"Cornelius appreciates the sacrifices our Purple Heart recipients made in defending our freedoms. We believe it's important that we acknowledge them for their courage, and show them the honor and support they have earned," said the March 6 proclamation supported unanimously by the members of the city council.
In recommending the designation, City Manager Rob Drake pointed out that Gen. George Washington initially created the Purple Heart decoration as the Badge of Military Merit in 1782.
"It was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier," Drake said. "This is our opportunity to honor our veterans in Cornelius and Washington County who have done so much for our nation."
The designation as a "Purple Heart City" was awarded by the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), a national organization whose mission is to foster goodwill among combat-wounded veterans and their families, to promote patriotism, and support legislative initiatives.
"We want to thank the council for its enthusiastic adoption of this designation from the bottom of our hearts," said Portland MOPH Chapter Commander and former Marine Spencer Jones. "This shows your support for the men and women who have so honorably served their country. Even though nearly two million Purple Hearts have been awarded, not enough people know what this medal stands for."
What's involved in achieving the Purple Heart City designation from the MOPH? It turns out the only requirement is gratitude.
Drake said the city will display Purple Heart signage at the entrances of the city and at Veteran's Memorial Park. "We're proud of our park," he said, "and will be holding a special ceremony on Memorial Day acknowledging the community's designation as a Purple Heart City there."