The Wilmington Convention Center was filled Saturday night with recipients of the Purple Heart, the oldest military award given to service members wounded in action while serving their country.
The Cape Fear Purple Heart Association honored 59 veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Each Purple Heart recipient received commemorative gifts honoring their service, and representing their branch of the military.
This is the fourth year the Cape Fear Purple Heart Association has honored the local recipients.
The mission of the group is "to provide a forum for the community to honor Purple Heart recipients and their families, to foster an environment of goodwill among combat wounded veterans, to promote patriotism, and to encourage the sharing of recipient experiences so future generations will know the sacrifices made by veterans and their families."
The Purple Heart Foundation of North Carolina has organized these dinners across the state. The group has launched similar efforts in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, New Bern and Goldsboro.
The foundation is holding its first event to honor Purple Heart recipients in Fayetteville next Saturday.
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