Benton County Shows Its Heart

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
 On June 19, the Benton County Commission signed a proclamation designating Benton County as a Purple Heart County.
According to County Commissioner Michelle Kresiler, "The Benton County Republican Committee originally approached the Commissioners about starting the process of getting the Purple Heart designation for the County. The Committee to start the process themselves and found out that it could only be done through the County Commission."
Commissioner Kreisleralong with Commissioners Dale Jr. Estes and Jim Hansen presented the following proclamation to a crowd assembled on the Courthouse lawn:  
WHEREAS, the people of the County of Benton have great admiration and the utmost gratitude for all the men and women who have selflessly served their country and this community in the Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, veterans have paid the high price of freedom by leaving their families and communities and placing themselves in harm’s way for the good of all; and
WHEREAS, the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women from Benton County who served in the Armed Forces have been vital in maintaining the freedoms and way of life enjoyed by our citizens; and
WHEREAS, many men and women in uniform have given their lives while serving in the Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, many citizens of our community have earned the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service; and
WHEREAS, June 19, 2018 has officially been designated as the day in Benton County to remember and recognize veterans who are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Benton County Commissioners hereby proclaim Benton County as a Purple Heart County, honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation’s men and women in uniform, and encourage the citizens of Benton County to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of the Purple Heart recipients, to acknowledge their courage, and to show them the honor and support they have earned.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the Great Seal of Benton County to be affixed this 19th day of June, 2018.
John E. Bircher III, public relations director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was quoted as saying the Purple Heart City designation is, “an expression of gratitude to the sons and daughters of that community who gave their lives or were wounded in combat defending the freedoms that all Americans enjoy.  Any city, county, state sports team, or any other entity can become a “Purple Heart” entity.”
The typical Purple Heart City process involves the mayor and/or city council performing a proclamation, which then is presented to the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. In turn, the organization arranges as many Purple Heart recipients to attend the ceremony. The military order also provides the city a plaque commemorating the occasion, a Purple Heart flag the city can fly, particularly for National Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7, and “proud supporter” pins for everyone attending the ceremony.” 
There are over 900  Purple Heart locations in the United States, honoring the 1.6 million Purple Heart recipients.