Lost: 2014 Found: 2014 Returned: 30 May 2015 Location: Stowe, Vermont
Purple Hearts Reunited spent Saturday, May 30, 2015 honoring World War II soldier PFC Cedric Charles Laraway, a Vermont native. Laraway’s lost Purple Heart was found in a Vermont antique shop a few months before the event, and the group commemorated PFC Laraway’s service with a Memorial Hike of Laraway Mountain starting from the Long Trail trailhead at the end of Codding Hollow Road in Waterville, VT. A public medal presentation followed at the Stowe Historical Society and Museum.
Cedric Charles Laraway was born in 1918 and was a native of Stowe, VT. He enlisted in the Army on 24 November 1943 in Rutland, VT, and served with the 314th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division in World War II. PFC Laraway was killed in action on 17 November 1944 while his regiment was fighting for the town of Lunéville, France in their movement to the Vosges Mountains and Saverne Gap. Laraway is buried at the Epinal American Cemetery in France, in Plot A, Row 14, Grave 56.
The Memorial Hike on Saturday morning included Purple Heart recipients and a few supportive members of the general public. Hikers met at the trailhead at the end of Codding Hollow Road and followed the Long Trail approximately 1.6 miles to Laraway Lookout.
After the hike, PFC Laraway’s medal was displayed at the Stowe Historical Society ceremony and Historical Society Vice President Chuck Dudley spoke about the history of the town and the soldier. PFC Laraway’s daughter, Dorothy, drove from Florida with her husband Wayne for the event, and said it was the highlight of her year so far. The medal will be framed, displayed at the museum for about a month, then returned to the Wescom family.
This return was made possible by a grant from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, as well as financial sponsorship from NBT Bank.
Read more about the memorial hike and return ceremony:
Stowe Reporter >> Reuniting Hearts
Burlington Free Press >> Purple Heart Returned to Veteran’s Daughter
USA TODAY >> Daughter Hikes to Honor WWII Purple Heart Recipient
Vermont Public Radio >> After 70 Years, Purple Heart Returns to Stowe Veteran’s Family