Rep. John Reilly (R-District 46) and Dennis Hoffman, Ortonville VFW commander testify on Tuesday in Lansing to name a section of M-15 Purple Heart Trail. Photo provided.
By David Fleet
On May 22, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation introduced by state Rep. John Reilly (R-District 46) to rename a portion of M-15 in the Village of Ortonville as the Purple Heart Trail.
The vote was 14-0.
Ortonville VFW Commander Dennis Hoffman testified to support the name change.
“We are now the only Purple Heart Community with a Purple Heart Trail in Oakland County,” said Hoffman. “And one of only nine in Michigan. The Purple Heart is the oldest medal awarded to service men and women. Our community has 72 Purple Heart recipients including one of only two in the nation with father-daughter recipients from two different wars.”
House Bill 5622 moves to the full House for consideration prior to signature of Gov. Snyder.
The designation places on signs on northbound and southbound M-15.
“I am hoping community members will continue to honor our veterans past and present that have earned the Purple Heart,” said Hoffman. “The only way you can get the Purple Heart is to have been wounded in combat. Some paid the ultimate price, with their lives. All donations for honoring our veterans would be greatly appreciated.”
Reilly said the Purple Heart Trail creates a symbolic tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.
“The Purple Heart medal is a distinguished award for our military personnel who have paid a high price for our freedoms,” said Reilly. “This highway renaming will honor our veterans and express our gratitude for their service.”
The Village of Ortonville became a Purple Heart Community on Aug. 1, 2016
Through his research, Hoffman has determined the area has four Purple Heart recipients from the Civil War, three from World War I, about 19 from World War II, two from the Korean War, 17 from Vietnam, and one from Operation Enduring Freedom.
The purpose of the trail established in 1992 is “to create a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways, bridges, and other monuments that give tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.”
The Purple Heart Trail accomplishes this honorary goal by creating a visual reminder to those who use the road system that others have paid a high price for their freedom to travel and live in a free society. Signs placed at various locations annotate those roads and highways where legislation has been passed to designate parts of the national road system as The Purple Heart Trail.”