Just the 12th in the state to receive designation

Logan County has become the 12th Arkansas county to be designated a Purple Heart County, according to Country Judge Ray Gack.

Gack said a special ceremony is being planned to mark the designation at the Saturday, Oct. 1 Frontier Day celebration at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Paris.

Gack said he discussed the idea with officials of the Purple Heart Trails and Cities Program during a ceremony held in mid-August when Scranton was designated a Purple Heart City. Gack added that a resolution about the designation has already been signed. Gack also said highway signs pointing out the designation will be put up and plaques will be displayed at courthouses in Booneville and Paris.

Gack said he and officials in Booneville are working to get the word out to the county’s estimated 2,000 veterans.

“This is a way to honor our veterans and Purple Heart recipients,” Gack said. “It’s something we can do for them. We’re working right now to invite veterans, Purple Heart recipients and their families to march in the Frontier Day Parade in Paris.”

The Purple Heart is a combat decoration and it is our nation’s oldest military medal which was created by Gen. George Washington in 1782, and originally known as the Badge of Military Merit. However, the award faded from use shortly after the United States gained independence. The award was re-established in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover and renamed the Purple Heart. It is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war at the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

Established in 1992, the purpose of the Purple Heart Trails and Cities Program is to create a symbolic and honorary system of cites, highways, bridges, or other monuments that give tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal. Signs or monuments have been placed at various locations throughout the United States and its territories designating those cities, highways, or bridges where legislation or proclamations have been passed to designate them as a Purple Heart Trail or City.