Purple Heart

Each August, Chapter 2212, the Finis J. Self Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, sponsors a memorial service to honor the fallen warriors of Cullman and Morgan Counties. Those being honored were either killed in action or received a Purple Heart after being wounded and passed on later in life. 

The service will be conducted at the Purple Heart Monument in Sparkman Park in Hartselle on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m. 

During the ceremony, each name of the fallen warriors that are inscribed on the monument are read aloud accompanied by the sounding of a bell. A small Purple Heart flag is presented to the next of kin or a friend if they are present. The names are read by prominent elected officials representing Cullman and Morgan Counties.

In addition to the Purple Heart monument and its list of fallen warriors and Purple Heart recipients there is a Veteran’s Walk open to all veterans. Engraved bricks honor or memorialize the veterans of our country’s armed forces.

The guest speaker for this year’s ceremony will be LTC (R) Brady A. Gallagher, a native of Cullman and a retired Army Aviator who served three years in Iraq as a Dustoff (Medevac) Pilot. State Senator Arthur Orr, Representative Terry Collins, Chairman of the Morgan County Commission Ray Long and Chairman of the Cullman County Commission Jeff Clemons will read the names. The Civil Air Patrol cadets from Hartselle HS will post the colors. 

Former POW George Mills will supervise the conduct of the POW/MIA ceremony. MSG (R) Donna Johnson will sing the National Anthem and the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and ENell Baker will sing her original song, Spirit of America. The American Legion and Patriot Guard motorcyclists, with flags flying and motors revving, will make their grand arrival, and be present during the ceremony.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart is unique among military fraternal groups. All its members have spilt blood or were otherwise injured in combat with an enemy of the United States. This memorial service honors those warriors, past and present.

For more information about the service, having a Purple Heart recipient’s name inscribed on the monument, or purchasing a brick for a veteran, contact the commander, Clifford Gissell by calling 256-338-5617 or emailing tothemax42@gmail.com. The list of the names to be read, along with information about the chapter and the ceremony can be found on the chapter website www.mophchapter2212.com.

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