Canfield man receives war certificate honoring great uncle killed in World War I
Inside the home of Joseph Knecht, a simple yet touching presentation.
"It was impressive," said Knecht.
A Lady of Columbia Wound Certificate was handed to him in honor of Knecht's great uncle, who shares his name and was killed in World War I.
"It was near the end of the war; it was on the last offensive. He died in September and the war; the armistice was in the following November. So it was really shock to family," said Knecht.
The lithograph, which shows a toga-wearing woman knighting an infantry soldier on bended knee, was awarded to wounded or killed World War I military members prior to the Purple Heart being established in 1932.
Knecht's lithograph was actually rescued off eBay by the non-profit, Purple Hearts Reunited.
"Our mission is to return lost, stolen, or misplaced medals of valor back to the veterans and their families. In situations where we can't find a next of kin, we find a home of honor," said Jessica Jaggars, the Director of Operations for Purple Hearts Reunited.
Purple Hearts Reunited travels the country to return medals of valor, found all the time by good samaritans.
"Good samaritans finding them at Goodwill's, Salvation Army's, garage sales. They've been found in the back of furniture, they've been found on broadway floors, tarmacs of airports," said Jaggars.
Jaggars says these medals and certificates stand for a lot of service and sacrifice and give families a tangible piece of their history.
"Whether it brings memories or whether it brings closure, it's always a different experience. Often times it sparks their want to find out more about their family and some situations we're delivering information for the first time. I think it's incredible that he now has the ability to have this in his home, and it's now kind of a conversation piece."
A piece for Joseph Knecht that is back with its rightful owner, all thanks to a dedicated non-profit trying to honor our country's bravest.
"It's incredible. You can't help but be impressed they've gone to all that work trying to return the medals to the families," said Knecht.
If you have a medal, war certificate, or something that may belong to a veteran, you are encouraged to contact Purple Hearts Reunited at purpleheartsreunited.org. Families can also go to their website to check their database to see if they have a purple heart belonging to your loved one.