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Woodstock hosting state’s 1st Purple Heart Day

WOODSTOCK – The Public Works Department has been busy sprucing up the park in the Square as the city prepares to host the state’s first Purple Heart Day.

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Borggren will be joined by other local and state legislators at the event.

Gov. Pat Quinn will not be attending as city officials initially had hoped.

The events will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday near the Purple Heart Memorial monument on the Square and will include a wreath-laying ceremony, a moment of silence, a bell toll, and remarks from several individuals, including Borggren, Dan Finn of the Illinois Military Order of the Purple Heart, state Sen. Pam Althoff and state Rep. Jack Franks.

The state’s Movable Memorial Wall of Honor also will be on display.

“I’ve always been impressed with the city’s observance of Memorial Day,” event organizer Mark Greenleaf said. “This is the kind of official day of remembrance that one might expect the city of Woodstock to embrace.”

Woodstock is home to one of only a few Purple Heart monuments, Greenleaf said.

Tuesday’s events will mark the first Purple Heart Day in Illinois since the law creating the annual, statewide event was initiated to commemorate and honor those who have been wounded or killed in battle.

“This is a chance for us as a community to recognize and to extend and express appreciation, and to truly support and uphold those veterans who have received the Purple Heart accommodation – those individuals who were wounded in service or made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mayor Brian Sager said.

Sager will be out of town, so Mayor Pro Tem Dick Ahrens will represent the city at the event.

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