Town of Coventry Named a Purple Heart Town

November 13, 2014
Rep. Tim Ackert and Sen. Tony Guglielmo present the Town with the Legislative Citation.

Rep. Tim Ackert and Sen. Tony Guglielmo present the Town with the Legislative Citation.

COVENTRY – On November 7th, 2014, the Town of Coventry was given the distinguished honor of being named a Purple Heart Town. Coventry is the second town in Connecticut to receive this title, after the Town of Guilford. The recognition ceremony was held at the Veterans Auditorium at Captain Nathan Hale Middle School and was put on by staff and students.

The assembly began with the Presentation of Colors by the Coventry Police Honor Guard and was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The 7th Grade Chorus sang the National Anthem and afterwards, students read heartwarming essays about what it means to honor veterans. The 7th Grade Band performed March Bits & Pieces, a full band composition that includes the Marine Corps fight song, Yankee Doodle, Stars and Stripes Forever and other patriotic songs. Students also performed a ceremony to honor Prisoners of War and soldiers Missing In Action and did a presentation about the history of the Purple Heart.

Walter Elwell, William Pearson, Vernon Smith, Maurice Collin and Micah Welintukonis with one of the commemorative signs that will be displayed at the major town entrances.

The Certificate of Resolution naming Coventry a Purple Heart Town was delivered by Mr. Bill Brewer, the State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Special guest Speaker Senator Richard Blumenthal made a few remarks, and a letter was read on behalf of Representative Joe Courtney, who was unable to attend. Secretary of the Army Johnathon M. McKee was also unable to attend, but had a letter read on his behalf.

State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) and State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) then presented a legislative citation signed by Governor Dannel Malloy, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Donald Williams and Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey. The citation read:

“We honor the Town of Coventry in recognition of being declared a Purple Heart Town. The Town of Coventry has shown gratitude and admiration for our men and women in uniform. Veterans from the Town of Coventry are shining examples of bravery and heroism as they dedicate their lives to defending our country and protecting our freedoms.”

CT National Guard State Command Sergeant Major John Carragher then presented Maurice Collin, Walter Elwell, William Pearson, Vernon Smith, and Micah Welintukonis with Military Challenge Coins. These Coventry Veterans have the distinct honor of having received the Purple Heart. Commander Harry Hansen also presented them with certificates on behalf of the American Legion of Connecticut. Signs to be displayed on at the major town entrances were also presented by Chairman of the Coventry Town Council, Mr. Jeffrey Shorts. The ceremony was concluded by Taps, performed on trumpet by two students.

“This award is a great honor, and this ceremony paid an excellent tribute to it,” said Rep. Ackert. “The students and staff worked incredibly hard for this, and as a Veteran myself I am especially grateful, not only for their efforts but for the reverence and unique recognition that our town received today.”

“Coventry has a long, glorious history of service to our country. In every war since our country’s birth, Coventry men and women have shouldered our nation’s burdens with unequalled patriotism,” said Senator Guglielmo. “I am very pleased to see the veterans of this community get the recognition they deserve. As a non-combat veteran myself, it is particularly heartening to see my fellow servicemen and women honored in this fitting manner.”