ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — April is the month to take extra time to honor the families of our military service members — specifically, their children.

Tuesday is National Purple Up Day, a still-growing celebration that has only been around for four years now. During the day, people are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for not just servicemen and servicewomen, but also their families.

The color purple was chosen because red and blue are important colors to many different military branches. Combining them results in purple.

Several families from across the state and different branches of the military gathered at the State Capitol to be recognized on Tuesday. This is the first time the day has been celebrated at the Capitol.

Gov. Mark Dayton wore purple as he presented several children with letters of thanks for their sacrifices.

“What you’re doing is very brave,” Dayton said. “It’s hard having your mom or your dad away for that long.”

Families say it is nice to see recognition of service families growing in Minnesota.

“As a mother left behind,” Samantha Draeger said, “it’s trying to coordinate things and make things come together for the children so they don’t feel like they’re forgotten. To have other people help with that and recognize that, it’s one less thing to worry about.”

As part of the entire moth of gratitude for these children, there are several events around the state to celebrate. Also, there will be a million-dollar tribute on the Capitol Mall to military families, all raised with private funds. It is scheduled to break ground in June.


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