A $10 million expansion of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor that will include a new section with interactive exhibits and galleries, along with a redesigned entrance, was announced Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.The museum is on the same grounds where on May 28, 1932, the first Purple Heart medals were awarded to 137 World War I veterans. The land is the site of the New Windsor Cantonment, which was the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-83. The Purple Heart is awarded to those who have been killed or wounded by enemy action.
The expansion will include a new wing, improved pedestrian circulation throughout the museum, a public gathering space, increased programming, improved accessibility, more convenient parking and several walkway improvements. Final designs of the expansion are expected to be complete by next year with construction beginning in 2020.
State Sen. William Larkin, a retired lieutenant colonel who served in the Korean War, said, “As a member of the Genesis Group, we began the process of establishing the Hall of Honor right here in the Hudson Valley more than 20 years ago. Our mission at that time was to provide a place of solace and reflection for America’s Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star families. With this new expansion we will build on our current foundation and continue to appropriately honor those veterans that sacrificed so much for our country, as well as their families.”
The Hall of Honor, which opened in 2006, is the first in the nation dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices of the estimated 1.8 million recipients of this award.
In 2016, through grants and private donations, the New York State Parks Department completed a $1.4 million upgrade of the existing facilities that included the Roll of Honor, an electronic database where visitors can search for Purple Heart recipients.