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Erie County honoring Purple Heart recipients, families this week

Typically, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns would host an event for local recipients and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in plans.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — This week is Purple Heart Week, honoring those wounded and also those killed while serving in the United States military. 

Typically, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns would host an event for local recipients and their families.

Instead, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he went around to their homes across the county to thank them for their service, and to let them know their sacrifice has not been forgotten. 

"This is the most attention I've gotten since I've gotten back from Vietnam actually," said Tim Hirschmann of East Aurora, an Army Purple Heart recipient. "A lot of bad memories, a lot of good memories. A lot of guys I served with, I'm still in touch with. When they say 'band of brothers,' they mean it."

Hirschmann was one of seven honorees on Thursday.