NYACK, N.Y. (AP) — The family of a World War II veteran now has a big piece of his history back.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer on Sunday reunited the family of Bernard McNamara with his Purple Heart medal. It had been found along a Rockland County road several years ago with the inscription of “B.J. McNamara on December 9, 1943.”
It was turned over to an American Legion post, and those who initially searched for the owner discovered there were numerous men with that name who served in World War II. Schumer’s office began looking into the situation earlier this month and was able to determine to whom the medal belonged.
McNamara, a Bronx native, died in 1975. He was wounded during the war, and also held as a prisoner of war for over a year by the Nazis after being captured in Italy, according to records.
Schumer presented the medal to McNamara’s son and daughter and grandchildren at a ceremony in Nyack, New York. His son said the medal may have been lost at some point when it was given to some children in the family to play with, and may have ended up where it was found because they had family in the area.