Country’s oldest military medal coming to Southwick

A total of 10 signs will be purchased by the town of Southwick

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – This past November, Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan made an official proclamation to have the Purple Heart Trail pass through the city of Westfield. Signs indicating the Purple Heart Trail are placed on roadways in different parts of towns and communities.

The Purple Heart Trail recognizes the country’s oldest military medal, existing since 1932, and those who have put themselves in harms way in support of our country.

Operators of vehicles driving on Route 202 in Westfield will see Purple Heart signs which has prompted a neighboring town to look into extend those signs further south on Route 202.

The Purple Heart Trail signs are expected to be up in Southwick by Memorial Day. (Photo from Gene Theroux)
The Purple Heart Trail signs are expected to be up in Southwick by Memorial Day. (Photo from Gene Theroux)

At the February 7 Town of Southwick Select Board meeting a request was made to extend the Purple Heart Trail through Southwick.

Gene Theroux, an Air Force Veteran and past commander of American Legion Post 124 in Westfield, made the presentation to the Select Board about his plan to bring the trail to the community.

Since Southwick has already been a Purple Heart community since June of 2015, Theroux talked about how the signs could be incorporated into the trail.

According to Theroux, the Purple Heart Trail signs will be erected exclusively on Route 202. There will also be Purple Heart Community signs that will be displayed. One will be placed by VFW Post 872 on Point Grove Rd., which is near the border of Suffield, Conn. The other community sign will also be near the town line of Suffield, Conn., right on Route 168.

For Theroux, who is also a resident of Southwick, it is important to bring the Purple Heart Trail to this community.

“I’m quite honored be able to work on this project, and clearly, the town of Southwick is to be commended for honoring Purple Heart veterans with the Purple Heart Community signs,” said Theroux.

Towards the end of the Select Board meeting a motion was made to pay for the Purple Heart Trail signs out of the Select Board’s gift account. The signs are expected to be up by Memorial Day and there will be a total of 10 signs that will be purchased by the town of Southwick.

At the next Select Board meeting on Feb. 21, the Select Board will have the voted resolution and proclamation that the town of Southwick needs in order to adopt the Purple Heart Trail.

Copyright 2017 The Westfield News