Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

November 07, 2006

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Wendy Gibson
Catherine Jimenez

National Purple Heart Hall To Welcome LT. Gen. Whitcomb

Commanding General of the Third Army to Provide Keynote Address At Opening of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on November 10

(ALBANY, NY, November 6, 2006 . . .) The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced that Lieutenant General R. Steven Whitcomb will be the special guest and featured speaker for the formal opening of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in New Windsor, New York. General Whitcomb will provide the keynote address at the 11:00 a.m. military ceremony as part of the opening day's program on Friday, November 10, 2006.

General Whitcomb assumed command of the Third Army, US Army Central, in October 2004 with headquarters in Kuwait and Atlanta, Georgia. Previous to that command, his assignments included Korea, Germany, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Fort Knox, Fort Hood and Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

In addition to General Whitcomb's address, the opening day's dedication and military ceremonies will feature remarks by: Military Order of the Purple Heart National Commander Tom Poulter; Governor George Pataki; Major General Joseph Taluto, Adjutant General of New York State; Congresswoman Sue Kelly; New York State Senator William Larkin; and State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro.

The program will also include the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment Fife and Drum Corps, performances by the United States Military Academy Band and the USO of Metropolitan NY, and book signing by author Deborah Tainsh. In addition, military re-enactors will be on site to interpret the history of the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site with other activities to include lectures, children's activities, information displays and food vendors.

More than 2,000 people from around the country are expected to attend the opening ceremonies including Purple Heart recipients and their families, service men and women from across generations and branches of service, and veteran organizations. General parking will be available at Stewart International Airport with shuttle transportation running continuously throughout the day from the parking area to the Hall of Honor. Designated handicap parking will be available on a limited basis at the site to those vehicles with officially-issued handicap plates or placards.

The Hall of Honor will be the first in the nation to recognize the more than 1.7 million Americans wounded or killed in action while serving in the United States Military, and will become the nation's sole repository dedicated to the preservation of these stories of sacrifice. The Hall is collecting and preserving the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations in an attempt to ensure that all recipients are represented. These stories will be preserved and shared through a series of exhibits, live and videotaped interviews with veterans themselves, and the Roll of Honor, an interactive computer program detailing the stories of each individual.

Families who would like to share their story or other materials of Purple Heart recipients to be considered for the exhibition or archives to support the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, please contact the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, P.O. Box 207, Vails Gate, New York, 12584 or call (845) 561-1765 or toll free at 877-28HONOR. Tax deductible gifts to the Hall can also be made to the facility and directed to the Friends of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Inc. - NPHHH.

Additional information and updates about the opening day's events can be found at