The Purple Heart.
It is a badge of honor awarded to a member of the Armed Forces of the United States of America who has been wounded, killed, or has died after being wounded while serving in any capacity of the United States Armed Services.
Wounded or killed.
The day-to-day life of those who survived their wounds in service of their country is not an easy one. Still, in Roselle Park there are ways the community of a one-square-mile town does what it can to recognize those who have been awarded the Purple Heart.
A law was passed that provided free designated parking spaces throughout the borough for Purple Heart recipients and combat-wounded veterans (link).
Additionally, a Purple Heart monument rests on the grounds of the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library. Installed on Constitution Day (September 17th) and unveiled on Veterans Day (November 11th), the memorial was donated and erected by Chapter #28 of the Union County Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. It is made out of red stone granite. It has been said that when it rains, the stone gives the appearance that it is bleeding from the running water. The following is engraved on the stone along side a replica of the Purple Heart award:
“My stone is red
for the blood they shed.
The medal I bear
is my country’s way to show they care.
If I could be seen by all mankind
maybe peace will come in my lifetime.”
The Purple Heart is designed after General George Washington’s Badge of Military Merit which was established in 1782 awarded during the American Revolution to recognize bravery in service. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers.
Today, it is estimated that there may have been 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded.
Visitors can go tour grounds of the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library and visit the Purple Heart monument along with stanchions that recognize the branches of America’s Armed Forces at 404 Chestnut Street.