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Military Order of the Purple Heart - Veteran Tribute to Wartime Nurses

Army Nurse Corps History Home > Army Nurse Corps Historical Documentation > Army Nurse Corps Newsletter Historical Articles

On the 13th of September, the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) paid homage to military nurses in a ceremony conducted near the Nurses' Monument in Section 21 of Arlington National Cemetery. This is an annual event held the second Friday of September. The first service, held on the 14th of September 1990 in Dearborn, Michigan, met great success. Consequently, in 1991, the memorial service and wreath laying became a nationally recognized ceremony conducted at Arlington Cemetery, Washington, DC.

On the 13th of September, the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) paid homage to military nurses in a ceremony conducted near the Nurses' Monument in Section 21 of Arlington National Cemetery.

MOPH Ceremony, September 13, 2002

Around 90 people attended the ceremony this year. Representatives from the Army, Air Force and Navy Nurse Corps attended. The Army Nurse Corps was well represented with two retired Army Nurse Corps Chiefs, BG (RET) Anna Mae Hays and BG (RET) Connie Slewitzke in attendance. Additionally, MAJ (RET) Nelly Aleman-Guzman, who received the Purple Heart award in 1994 for her actions during a rebel attack in El Salvador in 1989, also attended. A number of retired and active Army Nurse Corps Officers were also in attendance. COL Sharon Feeney-Jones represented BG Bester as the senior Army Nurse Corps Officer. COL Feeney-Jones provided fitting remarks regarding the Army Nurse Corps appreciation for the recognition of its efforts by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The ceremony provided a touching tribute to all military nurses. The formal portion of the ceremony included the presentation of colors, an opening prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, comments from the Military Order of Purple Heart National Commander, comments from representatives of Army, Air Force and Navy Corps, placing of the wreath, and the playing of the Taps. Following the ceremony, the attendees enjoyed a reception held at the Crystal City Hilton in Arlington, VA. Sentiment and story telling filled the exchange between attendees, both nurses and MOPH members. Without a doubt, the members of this honored organization hold a tender spot in their hearts for the nurses who have helped to heal their wounds.

Historical Data located at the Army Nurse Corps Collection, United States Army, Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, VA