The Collinsville community came together for a noble cause last Wednesday.
Staff at the City of Collinsville hosted an inaugural dinner and ceremony at the Veterans Community Center to honor local men and women of the military in recognition of National Purple Heart Day 2019.
The Purple Heart, the oldest U.S. military award, is given to members of the armed forces who have been wounded or killed in the line of duty.
The event paid tribute to 10 veterans from Owasso, Collinsville, Bartlesville, Claremore and Broken Arrow.
“The City of Collinsville has a proud history of honoring our military,” Collinsville City Manager Pam Polk said. “We owe a debt to so many that we can never repay. I pray that I, and all of us, live a life worthy of those sacrifices.”
Collinsville Mayor Bud York, along with Mitch Reed with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 589, and LeAnn McCready and JoAnn Owens with the American Red Cross Veterans History Project, spoke at the gathering.
James Roderick with the Collinsville Masonic Lodge No. 165 also addressed the crowd and presented Purple Heart certificates to the commended recipients.
City staff also set up a Fallen Comrade Table in memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members. The empty table symbolically served as the focal point of ceremonial remembrance.
In Nov. 2017, Collinsville was named a Purple Heart City – the eighth city in Oklahoma to be presented with the commemorative title – as one that proclaims support and appreciation for its veterans.
The City recently placed new banners along the town’s historic Main Street honoring Collinsville’s VFW Post 3077, American Legion Post 2 and its designation as a Purple Heart City.
Polk said she anticipates hosting the event every year going forward.