RACINE — Dan Macemon finds plenty of interesting items in the homes he demolishes, but until Wednesday, he’d never found a war medal on the job.
Macemon briefly stopped the demolition of 1937 Racine St. on Wednesday when he saw a dark-colored box fall out of the home’s attic. Inside the box, Macemon found a Purple Heart.
“I thought it was like a jewelry case,” Macemon said. “I grabbed it, opened it up and that’s when I saw it.”
The Purple Heart, given to those wounded or killed in American conflicts such as war or terrorist attacks, is the United States’ oldest active military award. This particular purple heart was given to Albert L. Weaver.
Mr. Weaver isn’t listed in the registry of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, which is not comprehensive and requires voluntary entry. Online searches with keywords such as “Racine” and “military” didn’t reveal any identifying information.
The home is listed in city property records as belonging to Kenneth and Ola Turner, but the Turners died in 2014 and 2004, respectively, according to their obituaries. A phone number listed online for their son, Lance, was no longer in service and their obituaries didn’t mention any relatives with the last name Weaver.
Macemon said he doesn’t know anything about the house and that the company that he co-owns, Macemon & Sons, was simply contracted by the city to knock down the house.
“We bid to the city,” Macemon said. “We got word of this contract. The city just hires us to tear them down.”
Even though Macemon said he has the right to salvage items from the home as the demolition contractor, he hopes to find Weaver or one of his relatives and give it to them.
“I would be honored to give it to the right family member or give it to the person it should go to,” he said. “Anything that’s personal like…