The 22nd Congressional District of New York was the first district in the nation to be named a “Purple Heart Congressional District.”
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna hosted a ceremony at American Legion Post No. 1376 in New Hartford.
This was the first event of its kind in the nation. It honored individuals from the 22nd Congressional District who were awarded the Purple Heart Medal for their sacrifices defending the nation in battle.
The event also served as a ceremony of appreciation for all the veterans and service members who call the Mohawk Valley home. More than 58,000 veterans live in the 22nd Congressional District.
Joining Rep. Hanna to celebrate the announcement were state Sen. Joseph Griffo, state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr., members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the family of the late Sgt. Thomas S. Cook of Hamilton who gave his life in Vietnam, members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 944, members of the New Hartford American Legion Post No. 1376 Color Guard and others.
“It is an honor to have our area designated a ‘Purple Heart Congressional District,’” said Joe Fraccola, senior vice commander, Department of New York Military Order of the Purple Heart, in a news release. “This will forever memorialize the Purple Heart recipients from our area, and the public will know that freedom comes at a price. We owe it to all our service members to never forget the sacrifices made every day to honor and defend the United States of America.”
“I am pleased to be able to designate this district as the very first Purple Heart Congressional District in the nation” Rep. Hanna said in a news release. “Upstate New York has a rich military history and is home to many service members and veterans. It is my hope that this designation will resonate with residents and visitors as a symbol of our community’s enduring thanks for the sacrifices of veterans. I look forward to other representatives following this lead in order to pay proper tribute to all of our nation’s veterans, service members, and especially our Purple Heart recipients.”