Military & Veterans

Somerset County Purple Heart Recipients Honored

MOPH Somerset County Chapter 27 Commander Joe Kordzikowski, far right, leads fellow Purple Heart recipient in the salute to the flag. Credits: Rod Hirsch
MOPH Chapter 27 Senior Vice Commander Ted Dima recounts the history of the Purple Heart. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Members of MOPH Somerset County Chapter 27 gather with township officials for a photo. Credits: Rod Hirsch
MOPH Somerset County Chapter 27 Senior Vice Commander Ted Dima, at right, checks over Mayor Carl Suraci's speech while Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer and Committeeman Doug Tomson look on. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Purple Heart Wreath Credits: Rod Hirsch
The Purple Heart Memorial is in the township's Garden of Honor. Credits: Rod Hirsch/Tapinto file photo

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Mayor Carl Suraci and members of the Township Committee gathered at the municipal building Monday evening to honor dozens of true American heroes from Somerset County, those combat veterans who were wounded in battle while serving their country.

Aug. 7 marked the 235th anniversary of the Medal of Merit, the forerunner of the Purple Heart.

MOPH Somerset County Chapter 27 Commander Joe Kordzikowski and Senior Vice Commander Ted Dima were joined by more than one dozen of their fellow Purple Heart recipients, along with family and friends.

Sign Up for E-News

Ceremonies were moved indoors because of inclement weather. A Purple Heart memorial is part of the township’s Garden of Honor, located at the municipal complex.

The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by General George Washington – then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army – by order from his Newburgh, NY headquarters on Aug. 7, 1782.

The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers by Gen. George Washington himself.

The medal was revived on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birthday, Feb. 22, 1932 by President Herbert Hoover.

Three months later, on May 28, 1932, 137 World War I veterans were conferred their Purple Hearts at Temple Hill, in New Windsor, NY, the site of Washington's headquarters and the New Windsor Cantonment, which was the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-1783.

Today, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at New Windosr continues the tradition begun here in 1932, of honoring those who have earned the Purple Heart. The Hall of Honor includes an archive of messages recorded by Purple Heart recipients that recounts their war experiences and how they came to be awarded the Purple Heart, according to Dima.

Hillsborough Township in Somerset County is one of only two municipalities in New Jersey to be named a “Purple Heart City.”  The other is North Hanover in Burlington County.

Somerset is the only county in New Jersey to be given the “Purple Heart County” designation by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Hillsborough: Petitions For and Against APEX Sports Facility Circulate Online

March 21, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The public’s response to  a pair of online petitions for and against the proposed APEX Sports & Events facility are running 10 to 1 in favor of the 210,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor athletic complex, proposed for a 40-acre site on Mountain View Road adjacent to the 369-acre Mountain View Park.

In addition to three lighted, outdoor synthetic turf athletic ...