On Aug. 7, also known as National Purple Heart Day, the Mayor of Glen Cove, Timothy Tenke, along with veterans advocate, Chris Levi, and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart declared the city of Glen Cove a Purple Heart City.
“On Purple Heart Day, the nation pauses to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made by the brave men and women in the military, the United Service Organizations website stated. “The Purple Heart medal is presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military.”
The Military Order of the Purple Heart is an organization that was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the Purple Heart. According to purpleheart.org, it is the only veterans service organization that is comprised strictly of combat veterans. Former Glen Cove City Mayor Ralph Suozzi designated Glen Cove a Purple Heart City in 2013, although signs were never implemented to make the declaration official.
“Mayor Suozzi has also been a longtime supporter of our veterans; we are here to renew what he started in 2013,” said Tenke.
The press conference began with a moment of silence to remember the great men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Tenke then began his speech by stressing the importance of supporting veterans when they return home from military combat.
“As I stand here on National Purple Heart Day to declare Glen Cove a Purple Heart City, it makes me feel extremely happy that this is being done on the national day of Purple Heart,” Tenke said. “Glen Cove is taking the lead and doing this to recognize our veterans. It’s extremely important to recognize our veterans everyday, not just on certain days. Veterans are the cornerstone of our community, and it is my pleasure to honor Glen Cove by recognizing our combat wounded veterans.”
Veterans advocate Chris Levi and Boy Scout Genalie Prezzeau rode around the city on adaptive bicycles to unveil the Purple Heart signs. In addition to the signs, the mayor also declared the creation of special combat-wounded veteran parking spaces, which will now be available throughout the city. State Senator Jim Gaughran gave commendations to the City of Glen Cove, Levi and Prezzeau for their accomplishments.
Three Boy Scouts from Glen Cove’s Troop 6 who volunteer with veterans organizations were invited to attend the press event. Prezzeau will soon begin working on creating a mini-plaza modeling Monument Park. John Blazich is working on his Eagle Project, which includes the relocation and reconstruction of the St. Rocco’s WWII Memorial. Another Scout, Cole Harding, is working on a smartphone app to help people learn more information about the veterans memorials in Glen Cove.
Signs declaring Glen Cove a Purple Heart City can be found at Monument Park, Morgan Park and at the Doughboy Monument located on Glen Cove Avenue.