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Mayor Randy White proclaimed the City of Derby a Purple Heart City at the May 24 City Council meeting and encouraged citizens of Derby to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of Purple Heart recipients. This effort serves as a statement of support for military personnel, veterans and families of those who have served through the Armed Services.
“This proclamation immediately precedes Memorial Day, which is a fitting time to remember not only those who gave their lives in service and the Gold Star Families left behind, but also Purple Heart veterans and their families, whose lives were forever changed by injuries received in combat,” said Mayor White.
Mayor White presented the proclamation to Purple Heart recipient Ramon Reyes, a veteran of the Korean War. Reyes was accompanied by “Dean” Valentin Delgado, a Vietnam veteran.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use, and was initially created by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit in 1782. The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.
The City of Derby is the first Purple Heart City in the central Kansas region and joins the cities of Holton, Leavenworth, Netawaka, and Topeka, Leavenworth and Jackson counties, and the State of Kansas as part of the Purple Heart Trail in Kansas.
This designation was established in cooperation with the Military Order of the Purple Heart 558, and through the support of American Legion Family Post 408.
“The Military Order of the Purple Heart special recognition award is bestowed with pride to the City of Derby, Kansas for your dedication and support honoring America’s combat wounded veterans, becoming the Purple Heart City,” Reyes said during the proclamation presentation.
Signage is planned for City gateways that will commemorate this proclamation, and it is anticipated that a sign unveiling ceremony will be held to celebrate the City’s commitment to supporting local service members and veterans and to honor Purple Heart Veterans and Gold Star Families.
“American Legion Family Post 408 is supporting the City of Derby in becoming a Purple Heart City,” said American Legion Family Post 408 Public Relations Representative Mike Saindon. “It gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation toward our Purple Heart recipients.”