Letter: Purple Heart plates are for recipients, not spouses
Gov. Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 47, effective Aug. 31. This allows a spouse to retain the Purple Heart license plate after the recipient’s death until death or remarriage. I strongly protest this decision. A recipient of the Purple Heart Medal should be the only person entitled to this plate. The spouse did not earn the Purple Heart Medal. Can you tell who is the real recipient versus the pretender? No.
The plates look the same. There is no difference between the plates for those who earned the medal and those for the
pretender-spouses. This is how we show respect to those who have worn the uniform and met the criteria for the Purple Heart Medal: military member wounded in action against an enemy of the United States.
Some say they want to honor their deceased spouse by driving with their Purple Heart plates. I respect those wishes, but tell me, how does this help? There is no difference in the plates. There are other ways to do this besides pretending they are the recipient.
This law lessens and dilutes the importance of the Purple Heart Medal. Are we going to have a state of Purple Heart pretenders? Are we getting closer to the Stolen Valor Act recently signed by the president? What kind of example are we setting? New Hampshire politics.
ANN DARBY REYNOLDS
(The writer is a retired U.S. Navy captain and recipient of a Purple Heart.)