We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of attendance at our inaugural event – Purple Heart Day Honor and Remembrance! Your participation and attendance meant the world to us.

From the American Legion Post 58 Color Guard’s ceremonial ritual, to Debbie Fisher’s presence leading our singing and playing of Taps, to the invocation, beautifully written and presented by Bob Frost, and the leading of the Pledge of Allegiance by Young Marine Sergeant Major Tyson Henry, these presenters filled us with the joy of being patriots and Americans!

We are so grateful for you who spoke to the audience from your heart, imparting personal stories and historical perspectives – Charles Byers, Jr., Purple Heart recipient and Army medic; Susan Kee, Korean War writer and advocate,; Ginny Dickey, mayor’ Phil Yin, Purple Heart recipient; John F.Scott II, keynote speaker; Don Taylor, commander of the Korean War Veterans Association of Arizona, and Mary Ann Michaels, Fountain Hills Elks Chapter program coordinator.

Our local veterans commanders rounded out the speaker series imparting details about their unique posts/chapters and their service in the community – Commandant David Nelson, Marine Corps League Det. 1439; Commander John Weedo, American Legion Post 58; Commander Steve Gonnella, VFW Post 7507; First Vice Commander Jack Isaacson, AMVETs Post 7, and Charles Byers, representing Commander Mike Ferguson, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 2560.

Last, but certainly not least, all was made possible through the efforts of our planning committee – Chris Brant, David Nelson, Suzanne Nann, Jen Colitre, Gene Wuestenfeld, Phil Yin, Bob Frost and Debbie Yin. The ballrooms were set up thanks to the leadership of Mike Fenzel, Community Center Manager and his staff.

It is with warm thanks to the Purple Heart recipients and families, and community of Fountain Hills for attending.