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Danbury Toasts Purple Heart Recipients With Special Parking Spots

The ribbon-cutting is performed by Dan Hayes, Lee Teicholz, John Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea, and Mayor Mark Boughton, marking the official Purple Heart parking spots at the War Memorial in Danbury.
The ribbon-cutting is performed by Dan Hayes, Lee Teicholz, John Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea, and Mayor Mark Boughton, marking the official Purple Heart parking spots at the War Memorial in Danbury. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury's Mayor Mark Boughton and State Commander John A. Kwiatkowski hold up their plaques of dedication for those who have earned the Purple Heart.
Danbury's Mayor Mark Boughton and State Commander John A. Kwiatkowski hold up their plaques of dedication for those who have earned the Purple Heart. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury Police Department joins the ceremony to celebrate Danbury as the newest Purple Heart City.
Danbury Police Department joins the ceremony to celebrate Danbury as the newest Purple Heart City. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury Police Department color guard.
Danbury Police Department color guard. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury residents, along with State Rep. Dan Carter, attend the ceremony on Sunday morning.
Danbury residents, along with State Rep. Dan Carter, attend the ceremony on Sunday morning. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Deacon Richard P. Kovacs from St. Gregory The Great Roman Catholic Church shares a few words in celebration of the event.
Deacon Richard P. Kovacs from St. Gregory The Great Roman Catholic Church shares a few words in celebration of the event. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Deacon Richard P. Kovacs sprinkles Holy Water throughout the newest Purple Heart spots at the War Memorial in downtown Danbury.
Deacon Richard P. Kovacs sprinkles Holy Water throughout the newest Purple Heart spots at the War Memorial in downtown Danbury. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The Pledge of Alegiance is led by Steven Johnston.
The Pledge of Alegiance is led by Steven Johnston. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The National Anthem is performed by Maggie Cortese, a military mother.
The National Anthem is performed by Maggie Cortese, a military mother. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury celebrates its designation as a Purple Heart City.
Danbury celebrates its designation as a Purple Heart City. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Taps is performed by Ken Post, from Danbury Council of Veterans.
Taps is performed by Ken Post, from Danbury Council of Veterans. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton  speaks at the ceremony at the War Memorial.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton speaks at the ceremony at the War Memorial. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
State Commander John A. Kwiatkowski makes a few remarks during the ceremony.
State Commander John A. Kwiatkowski makes a few remarks during the ceremony. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Ret. Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea also gives a few remarks during the ceremony about the importance of the Purple Heart.
Ret. Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea also gives a few remarks during the ceremony about the importance of the Purple Heart. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Event organizer Lee M. Teichoz talks about the Purple Heart and how his father earned one.
Event organizer Lee M. Teichoz talks about the Purple Heart and how his father earned one. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
One of the two designated purple parking spots.
One of the two designated purple parking spots. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Some of the men posing in front of the newly painted purple parking spot.
Some of the men posing in front of the newly painted purple parking spot. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The new purple spots.
The new purple spots. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris

DANBURY, Conn. -- As it was officially declared a "Purple Heart City," Danbury set aside two special parking spots at the War Memorial reserved just for veterans who were wounded in combat.

Mayor Mark Boughton presented the Purple Heart City proclamation at a dedication Sunday of the Combat Wounded Parking Spaces at the Danbury War Memorial at Rogers Park.

"It is my pleasure and honor to be here today, to be able to thank and memorialize the contributions that our veterans that have made throughout Danbury and the United States," said Boughton.

John A. Kwiatkowski, state commander for the military order, was presented with the proclamation at the ceremony.

The drive to establish Danbury as a Purple Heart City was spearheaded by local resident Lee Teicholz, whose father, William, received two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in France and Germany during World War II.

The ceremony opened with a welcome with Mary E. Teicholz, and honor guards from Danbury Police Honor Guard. The many veterans in the crowd raised their hands and received a round of applause.

The invocation was done by Deacon Richard P. Kovacs from St. Gregory The Great Roman Catholic Church. "We're not at Mass, but at a blessing of the purple heart parking spaces," Kovacs said.

"On the way down here from church, tears came to my eyes knowing how the people in Danbury have sacrificed and how we have dedicated these purple heart parking spaces," he said. Kovacs also led a short prayer thanking those in service and those who couldn't attend who have received the Purple Heart.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Steven Johnston, and Maggie Cortese sang the National Anthem.

A 3-Volley Salute was done by the Danbury Police Honor Guard, while Ken Post from Danbury Council of Veterans performed "Taps."

Speakers included Boughton, Kwiatkowski, Teicholz and Ret. Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea.

The ceremony ended with a ribbon-cutting at the two designated Purple Heart parking spots. Dan Hayes from the War Memorial cut the ribbon with Teicholz. Kwiatkowski, Zacchea and Boughton.

"The Purple Heart award is the oldest medal we have in the military — started by General Washington. He recognized those who were wounded in battle and that is how the award was founded," Boughton said.

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