I am saddened to learn that my father, Benjamin A. Fitzpatrick's, name was omitted from the Purple Heart Monument, located at the Harrison County Court House and the two monuments on I-79. My father was a lifetime resident of Harrison County.
At the age of 17, he enlisted into the U.S. Army. He fought with other brave, young men during WWII. He received his first Purple Heart when he was wounded and spent his 18th birthday in a hospital in Germany, and received a second Purple Heart at the age of 19 while serving in France.
After coming home, he served as a lifetime member of the VFW and organized Chapter 13 of the Clarksburg DAV, a lifetime member. He was also a charter and a lifetime member of the Purple Heart, Clarksburg.
Upon the death of my father, members of the Purple Heart paid tribute and carried him to his final resting place. I will never forget the honor those men paid to my father and our family.
The omission of his name on the monuments is truly an atrocity. He is much deserving of the honor that these monuments represent, as well as the many valiant men who fought for our freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The time, talent and money appropriated for the Purple Heart Monuments was used in vain unless everyone who is entitled to this honor is included. An officer of the local Purple Heart chapter informed me that the list of names located on the Purple Heart Monument were obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, Combat Wounded. A complete list of names was available in Charleston at the Veterans Administration office. The coordinator of this project would have only needed to pick up the telephone and call the V.A. office.
Placing new monuments on these three sites can rectify this grievous error. The families of the forgotten are waiting for an answer from the Purple Heart Association.