By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – City and state officials thanked local Purple Heart recipients for their service during a ceremony Dec. 16 at Marlborough City Hall. A plaque recognizing Marlborough as a Purple Heart City was presented by Leo Agnew, state commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Assisting him was Westborough Selectman Denny Drewry, a member of the MOPH.
Purple Heart recipients from Marlborough who attended the ceremony were Usy Comier, Jerry Elliott, Ross Flagg, Ed Jolley, Henry Marchant, Louis Monti and Jim Winbush.
While welcoming the recipients and their guests, Mayor Arthur Vigeant acknowledged Drewry for introducing him to the initiative of Purple Heart communities. The mayor explained that he then contacted Rick Jenkins, the city council Veterans Affair Committee chair.
“The council jumped on it right away,” Vigeant said. “It's wonderful that they took this and moved it forward to recognize the veterans who have sacrificed so much for the communities and for the country.”
Marlborough Veterans Agent Gary Brown noted that he has known a number of the recipients in attendance for many years.
“I's humbled to be in their presence,” he said. “The Purple Heart is the one medal that's presented without ambiguity. It's not up to somebody's discretion. You served in combat and if you were wounded, then you receive the Purple Heart.”
State Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, referred to herself as a proud daughter and granddaughter of veterans.
“It's always an honor to be in a room with so many people who have served our country with such humility and dedication,” she said. “I think there's no more appropriate time than the holidays for us to thank our veterans.”
Gregoire presented a citation on behalf of herself, state Rep. Tom Conroy, D-Wayland; and state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton.
Eldridge cited the designation of a Purple Heart community as a reminder to residents how committed the city officials are to recognizing and assisting those who have served in the military.
“The Metrowest area in general is truly committed to veterans,” Eldridge said. “Marlborough is the third community that I represent that is a Purple Heart community.”
The other Purple Heart communities in Eldridge's district are Westborough, designated in July, and Northborough, designated in November. Marlborough was designated as a Purple Heart City in October.
Eldridge added, “I want to thank Denny [Drewry] for his service and for helping to spread his dedication throughout Metrowest.”
There are about 150 Purple Heart communities in the country, according to Purple Heart Magazine. There are currently 26 in Massachusetts, with more expected to be added.