Drivers on Church Road may soon notice a new road marker honoring the men and women who have been wounded in combat.

Southaven Board of Alderman approved a proclamation and resolution designating the entire thoroughfare as part of the Purple Heart Trail on Tuesday.

The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart to create an honorary system of roads and highways that pay tribute to the recipients of the Purple Heart, and as a reminder to those who use the highways that others have paid a price for their freedom to travel in a free society.

Musselwhite said the idea to make Southaven a Purple Heart city started a few years ago, but fell by the wayside. It was recently brought to his attention again and he agreed to follow through on the city’s part to get the road officially recognized.

“I didn’t know exactly what they were asking the city to do,” Musselwhite said. “But my response was always yes, let’s do it. They reached back out to me to help them do this. Basically we would be honoring our veterans who are Purple Heart recipients that served our country who have been wounded and received a Purple Heart.”

Musselwhite said Southaven owes a debt of gratitude to soldiers who were wounded in combat and honored with a Purple Heart medal, including a former Alderman, William Brooks, who was wounded in Afghanistan.

“The way we are going to honor them is to name the entire length of Church Road from east to west will be declared the Purple Heart Trail,” Musselwhite said.

The Purple Heart was created by George Washington who was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on August 7, 1782 to honor military personnel wounded in combat. Over two million servicemen and women have received the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart trail begins at Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The proclamation will allow Southaven to place a sign officially recognizing Church Road as part of the Purple Heart Trail.


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