On today's date, August 7, 1782, Gen. George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers wounded or killed while serving with the U. S. Military.  The local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is having a fundraiser to complete the memorial in Veteran's Park.

Last year, on Veteran's Day, I was honored to be asked to emcee a ceremonial unveiling of the new Military Order of the Purple Heart Memorial at Veteran's Park in Lafayette.

The Lafayette Fire Department lends their time, and their enormous American Flag, to the Veterans' groups for the various ceremonies held in Lafayette.

Now that the memorial has been built and dedicated (designed and built under the direction of Lloyd King, commander of MOPH, Chapter 504), it's time for Acadiana to recognize local Purple Heart recipients.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) memorial is built on a heart-shaped slab, and the local MOPH is offering you the opportunity to purchase a granite brick, which will be engraved with the name of a Purple Heart recipient, to be installed on that slab.

According to Claire Taylor of  Lafayette's Daily Advertiser, King says

We want to see all of the area Purple Heart recipients honored...

A total of 776 bricks will be needed to 'fill' the heart-shaped slab, and you can do your part to help get it filled.

For a $50 donation, you can have ANY local Purple Heart recipient's name engraved on a brick to be used at the memorial (current and deceased chapter members' memorial bricks will be paid for from chapter funds), whether it is a family member or friend; or, if you just want to purchase a brick and donate it to the local chapter, you can do that as well.

You can obtain more information about the 'brickraiser' in Lafayette at Green Granite and Walter's Funeral Home, both on North University, either location of Pizza Village, and at Martin and Castille Funeral Home on St. Landry or Farrell Road.

King encourages anyone who is interested in making donations to the local chapter to contact him, and encourages all recipients of the Military Order of the Purple Heart to join the local chapter.  For more information, contact Commander Lloyd King at (337) 233-9555.