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Gov. Rick Scott to Help Unveil Polk County Purple Heart Monument | Community Spirit

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Gov. Rick Scott to Help Unveil Polk County Purple Heart Monument
Gov. Rick Scott to Help Unveil Polk County Purple Heart Monument

Polk County, Florida-- Polk County veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal for their sacrifice and heroism can look forward to a new monument in their honor this coming August.

Officials say county commissioners and representatives of the City of Lakeland's Military Order of the Purple Heart will host the monument's unveiling ceremony and dinner reception in August, at which Governor Rick Scott will be the keynote speaker. 

The reveal will take place at  Veterans Memorial Park in Lakeland, and the dinner reception, with the first annual Best of Us awards and a USO style show, will follow at the Lakeland Center. 

“The major culmination of our effort to become a Purple Heart County will be the unveiling of the brand new Purple Heart monument in Veterans Park,” said Mike Mason, veterans services supervisor for Polk County. “We are very excited to have Gov. Scott as the keynote speaker at this event as the Purple Heart monument will forever tell the story of these brave veterans’ sacrifice for future generations.”

Tickets for the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s celebratory dinner reception at can be purchased at polkpurpleheart.org. Individual reservations made before July 24 are $12.50, and $100 for a table of ten seats. Individual reservations from July 24 through July 31 will be $15, and $125 for a table of ten seats. No reservations will be accepted after July 31.

The Purple Heart is the United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving. It is the oldest award that is still given to members of the U.S. military. The heritage of the Purple Heart goes back to George Washington, who issued heart shaped purple pillows to wounded veterans (two of which are still in existence), as well as the Badge of Military Merit for enlisted servicemen injured during meritorious service. The modern Purple Heart was first awarded on May 28, 1932, to 138 World War I veterans at Temple Hill in New Windsor, N.Y., the site of the Continental Army's first encampment.

According to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, there hasn't been a consistent record of its recipients. It's thought that about 1.9 million service members have been awarded the Purple Heart. Recipients range from Civil War veterans who've received the Purple Heart posthumously to people in today's wars in the Middle East. 

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