Haverhill and Methuen Become Purple Heart Communities in Ceremonies Saturday Morning

One of the new Purple Heart City signs posted throughout Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill and Methuen both officially become Purple Heart Communities tomorrow morning, Saturday, Aug. 7, with separate ceremonies.

City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, a guest this week on WHAV’s morning program, is serving as Haverhill’s master of ceremonies.

“We have color guards coming. The ROTC will be with us from Haverhill High, we’re always happy to have them. We also have the AmVets and Legion color guards as well as the Essex County Sheriff’s color guards. I believe we are going to have a bugler playing taps. I know we’ll have the National Anthem and pledge. It’s going to be a very nice program, very nicely done, very well thought out,” Sullivan said.

The program takes place starting at 10 a.m. at Grand Army of the Republic Park, downtown Haverhill.

Last month, Haverhill Veterans Service Director Luis Santiago said he had identified seven known Purple Heart recipients living in Haverhill, including a member of the Haverhill Police Department and another serving the Haverhill Fire Department.

Sullivan said a Purple Heart will be pinned on a veteran during Saturday’s ceremony and the identity of the recipient will be revealed then.

Back in December, Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 Commander Keith Gopsill proposed to city councilors the designation of Purple Heart City to honor local veterans injured while serving their country.

Also on Saturday, at 10 a.m., the Arnold Greenwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8349 in Methuen is conducting a ceremony dedicating Methuen as a Purple Heart Community at the Post on 26 River Street. The public is invited to both ceremonies.

According to the USO, the Purple Heart is the oldest Military Award still presented to American Service Members wounded, or killed, as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. Military. More than 1.8-million Purple Hearts have been presented since the award was created in 1792.

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