If you’re ever travelling through the small town of Warren, Ohio, don’t park in the purple space. Unless you have a Purple Heart.
Painted the same deep hue as the medal awarded to veterans wounded in the line of duty, the parking space in the newly paved lot outside of the Warren Municipal Court is reserved for veterans injured in combat.
Though small — the town has a population of just over 40,000 — this community in Trumbull County intends to put a purple parking spot in front of every city building after the first one was unveiled on Nov. 2. According to U.S. Census Bureau records from 2009-2013, the county has an estimated 19,000 veterans.
“For the city to recognize veterans by putting out a parking spot for the combat wounded, you know, combat wounded, they should hold a special place in everyone’s heart. They spilled blood for our country,” Herman Breuer, the director of the Trumbull County Veteran Services Network, told WKBN First News.
Sometimes, it can seem as if the only national news about veterans involves scandal or tragedy — sometimes both — and though a single purple parking space in a small town may not seem like much in the big picture, it does matter.
“They’d be proud to park here,” said Kenneth Lewis, the state commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “Fills your heart up.”
Small acts of respect and acknowledgement — like a parking space reserved for those who bled for their country — are a reminder to veterans that their sacrifice while at war is not forgotten at home.
Watch the story below.