PHOTO GALLERY: Aurora’s Mission Viejo becomes first Purple Heart School in Colorado

The school was designated a Purple Heart School by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for having "great admiration, gratitude and respect for the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” according to a proclamation from the organization's Local Chapter MOPH375.

AURORA | With a shiny new plaque proclaiming it’s status as a Purple Heart School being displayed outside the school, visitors to Mission Viejo Elementary School will be able to spot the building off of South Alicia Parkway a bit better after Wednesday night.

The school was designated a Purple Heart School by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for having “great admiration, gratitude and respect for the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” according to a proclamation from the organization’s Local Chapter MOPH375.

Mission Viejo MOPH

An attendee poses with a bald eagle at Mission Viejo Elementary School library Wednesday evening. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

Mission Viejo MOPH

Bob Dawes, right, Senior Vice Commander for local Chapter MOPH375, chats with guests at Mission Viejo Elementary School library Wednesday evening. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

Mission Viejo MOPH

Bob Dawes, right, Senior Vice Commander for local Chapter MOPH375, chats with the bald eagle handler at Mission Viejo Elementary School library Wednesday evening. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

Mission Viejo MOPH

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan signs an autograph for a Mission Viejo Elementary student Wednesday evening in the school library. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

Mission Viejo MOPH

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart local Chapter MOPH375 salute the flag at Mission Viejo Elementary School Wednesday evening. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

Mission Viejo MOPH

Right to left: Araphahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler , Aurora City Council member Bob LeGare, political director for Rep. Mike Coffman, J.D. Key, and Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan applaud at the MOPH ceremony held at Mission Viejo Elementary School Wednesday. The school held a ceremony for becoming a Purple Heart School.

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Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Local Chapter MOPH375 unveil a facsimile of what will eventually be a plaque designating Mission Viejo Elementary School as a Purple Heart School. The school held a ceremony Wednesday evening for earning the designation.

The MOPH is a nonprofit organization composed of military members who received the Purple Heart Medal for being wounded in combat. There are four local MOPH chapters in Colorado: Aurora, Arvada, Longmont and Fountain.

Mission Viejo, located in Cherry Creek School District, is the first Colorado school to be given the Purple Heart School designation.

“Being honored as a Purple Heart school will serve as a daily reminder that freedom is not free,” Mission Viejo Principal Andre Pearson said in a press release. “We will honor and acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of our veterans and Purple Heart recipients.”