WWI medals reunited with Saratoga Springs family

September 05, 2019 07:53 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - On the battlefields of war throughout history, where soldiers have died and innumerable sacrifices have been made, most stories are lost to the ages. However, now there seems an opportunity to breathe life into many heroic tales.

"We should never forget the sacrifices people are making even if its 100 years old," said Daniel Green, grandson of World War I veteran Frederick Beisswanger.

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Green never knew his grandfather, a Corporal during the Great War, who took shrapnel in his leg during battle in the Argonne Forrest.

"War is awful most of the time," Green asserted. "It's nice that something comes out of it."

Beisswanger received the Lady of Columbia Wound Certificate, at the time, the equivalent of a Purple Heart. Mildred Green, Daniel's mother, says she kind of remembers the medal from her childhood.

"I didn't know when I was very small what the Purple Heart was or what World War I was so I used to play with the thing they gave me, some kind of Purple Heart I used to play with it."

However, Mildred's family lost track of the military keepsake, until recently when it turned up at a yard sale in California, where the purchaser contacted the Vermont-based Purple Hearts Reunited organization.

"It's hard not to love bringing pieces of history home," said Jessica Jaggars, operations director at Purple Hearts Reunited. "I think it's important to retell history and I get to be a part of that."

That's exactly what Jaggars did on Thursday morning in Saratoga Springs, when she delivered a framed version of the original Wound certificate lithograph, along with a replica Purple Heart to Mildred and her family.

"It's very prideful even not knowing somebody having never met him," Daniel Green asserted. "You have pride that our family served and we're excited about it. It's a sacrifice and people are making these sacrifices today, yesterday and tomorrow."

An estimated 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded in our nation's history.

Since its founding, Purple Hearts Reunited has returned more than 650 lost medals to rightful recipients or family members.


Dan Levy

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