Top of the Morning, Nov. 11, 2017

Top of the Morning, Nov. 11, 2017

SALLY CLARNO BAUM knows her uncle's story well, having learned as a very young girl of his death in World War II. After this weekend, she hopes many more will become aware of MALCOLM CLARNO's service to our country.

At 11 a.m. today, family members will return to DeWitt County to hand over Malcolm's Purple Heart to the Farmer City Genealogical & Historical Society. The ceremony will take place at 224 S. Main St. in downtown, and everyone's invited.

"More than anything, we'll be proud," said Sally, who will bring the Purple Heart from her home in Batavia. Her sister, Nancy Clarno Clark, quarterbacked the idea.

"This is where it belongs," Sally said, referencing her uncle's Farmer City roots. "He would be very happy we're doing this."

Malcolm was one of 675 casualties when the SS Dorchester was sunk en route to Greenland by a German submarine in '43. The casualities included the famed "Four Chaplains," who gave their life jackets to save others.

When his family pitched the idea to the museum — it will be the first Purple Heart on display — "we were honored," longtime volunteer Bob Tharp said. "It will be a great piece for people to see."

That's the idea, Sally said.

"I'm sure there are a lot of people who haven't ever seen a Purple Heart," she said. "Hopefully this lets some children get a chance to see it and understand what it means ... what service to your country means."

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