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City Hall will light up red, white and blue for Purple Heart anniversary

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The front pillars of City Hall, 700 S. Main St., will be lit up red, white and blue Thursday-Friday, Nov. 10-11, in honor of the 240th anniversary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

The request for the special lighting came from MOPH Chapter 2004 of Las Cruces.

The special lighting was requested by MOPH and the National Flag Foundation (NFF), which are partnering on “Light to Unite,” to commemorate MOPH’s 240th anniversary.

“We would like to have all cities in America light up purple and/or red, white and blue,” NFF said on its website.

“Lighting our pillars with red, white and blue lights not only shows our gratitude for our veterans, it reflects the price that all Las Crucens have for our country and the sacrifice our Purple Heart veterans have given on the battlefield,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said.

The Purple Heart honors members of the armed forces who have been wounded or killed in combat.

Gen. George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit, the military decoration that would become the Purple Heart, on Aug. 7, 1782. The badge fell into disuse after the Revolutionary War, but was revived in 1932, in honor of Washington’s 200th birthday. It is the oldest military decoration still presented to U.S. service members and is the second oldest military decoration in the world, after the Cross of St. George, the highest military decoration of the Russian Federation, established in 1769.

Las Cruces became the second Purple Heart city in New Mexico and 99th in the country in August 2015. A year to the day later, chapter members joined local Gold Star Mothers in dedicating a Purple Heart monument at Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces. And, Mayor Ken Miyagishima and the Las Cruces City Council declared Aug. 7, 2017 as Purple Heart Day in Las Cruces.

Nov. 11 also is Veterans Day, which honors America’s military veterans. Founded as Armistice Day at the end of World War I (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918), it was expanded to celebrate all veterans after World War II and became a federal holiday and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, honors those who died while in military service. Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday in May, honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.

For more information about MOPH #2004, contact Rod Gajewski at 575-496-1312 and email beanrod@beanrod.com.

Visit https://nationalflagfoundation.org/, www.thepurpleheart.com and www.facebook.com/mvpurpleheart.