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Purple Heart Returned To World War II Hero’s Family On Long Island

Staff Sgt. Arnold Haapala Killed In Invasion Of Normandy
Purple Heart Returned To World War II Hero's Family (credit: CBS 2)

Purple Heart Returned To World War II Hero’s Family (credit: CBS 2)


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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island family has been reunited with a long-lost Purple Heart.

The medal was award to Staff Sgt. Arnold Haapala, originally from Elmont, who was killed in the invasion of Normandy during World War II.

A man bought the medal at an estate sale in Connecticut and gave it to his congressman whose staff tracked down Haapala’s family in East Meadow.

“It stands for a man who gave the ultimate — his life — for our country,” Haapala’s niece, Carol Pacifico, told CBS 2.

The medal had been held by Haapala’s widow until she recently died and her estate was sold.

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