GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday is a special day for veterans. It marks the day George Washington instituted the Purple Heart medal in 1782.
A special remembrance was held in Trumbull County, where two bridges have been renamed in honor of veterans.
The Purple Heart Veterans Memorial Bridge spans Squaw Creek in Girard. It’s near the Ohio Leatherworks property.
The World War I and World War II Veterans Memorial Bridge is on Tibbetts Wick near the Girard dam.
These designations give Trumbull County ten military and veteran memorial bridges, which is the most in the state.
“That sign’s gonna cause a question from a kid as they cross the bridge. They ask their parents, ‘What’s a Purple Heart?’ It could spark that conversation to let that kid know about sacrifice,” said Hermen Breuer from the Trumbull County Veteran Service Commission.
Purple Heart Day recognizes those who were wounded at the hands of the enemy during battle.
“It’s important that the people know, that 99% out there that weren’t in the military, that they get an idea of what the cost of freedom was. The cost that us combat soldiers paid,” said veteran Leo Connelly Jr.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart share a special bond. Congressman Tim Ryan gave them an update on veteran issues before the federal government.
“What inspires me is the injuries they withstood while they were in battle, coming home and struggling through a lot of PTSD and other issues, and then just serving others,” Ryan said.
Ryan said there’s one veteran issue he wishes he could help get changed the most. That’s the suicide rate among veterans.
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