CULVER, OR -- Culver became the latest in Oregon to be designated a Purple Heart City, during a Monday ceremony at Culver's Veterans Memorial Park. The Purple Heart is bestowed upon soldiers wounded by the enemy, and is given posthumously to families of those who die from their wounds.
Mayor Nancy Diaz says she doesn't know exactly how many Purple Heart recipients live in Culver, but she wants them to understand how much they are respected for their bravery and sacrifice. She hopes Monday's ceremony was as meaningful for everyone else as it was for her, "VFW Honor Guard from Madras and Deschutes County came, and there were 45+ people that were there. It was just very heartfelt, a wonderful ceremony." It featured the official proclamation, followed by the singing of the National Anthem and the raising of Old Glory, "It was such an honor to have Purple Heart recipients there, and others there, in uniform. It was just amazing."
She tells KBND News, "As I planned all of this with city staff and the City Council, I honestly didn't know how many people would come. I was going to be happy if there was a dozen people who showed up. And then, men in uniform started showed up and there might've been more of them then there was of citizens that showed up." She adds, "It was very impactful for me. The feedback I got from other people was that they were so glad they came and braved the freezing temperatures to be there and see it. There was a lot of thanks for us doing it. It was wonderful."
Diaz says the Oregon Department of Transportation will install signs on each end of Culver, declaring it a Purple Heart City.
Photos courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office