TERROR

Survivors, relatives of victims of 2009 Fort Hood shooting to finally receive Purple Hearts

  • Teena Nemelka, right, mother of Pfc. Aaron Nemelka who was killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, looks down at her son's Purple Heart as it is given to her by Secretary of the Army John McHugh during a ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015.  Survivors and family members of those killed were awarded medals: the Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians.  (AP PHOTO/ AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Pool  Rodolfo Gonzalez)

    Teena Nemelka, right, mother of Pfc. Aaron Nemelka who was killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, looks down at her son's Purple Heart as it is given to her by Secretary of the Army John McHugh during a ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015. Survivors and family members of those killed were awarded medals: the Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians. (AP PHOTO/ AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Pool Rodolfo Gonzalez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Joleen Cahill, foreground, wife of Michael Cahill who was killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, carries her husband's Defense of Freedom Medal back to her chair, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, lower left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, right, applaud the family members of those killed in the shooting during a ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015.  Survivors and family members of those killed during the attack were awarded medals: a Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Pool)

    Joleen Cahill, foreground, wife of Michael Cahill who was killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, carries her husband's Defense of Freedom Medal back to her chair, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, lower left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, right, applaud the family members of those killed in the shooting during a ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015. Survivors and family members of those killed during the attack were awarded medals: a Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, seated, and Sen. John Cornyn, right, bow their heads during the invocation of a Purple Heart ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015. Survivors and family members of those killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting were awarded medals: the Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians.  (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Pool)

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, seated, and Sen. John Cornyn, right, bow their heads during the invocation of a Purple Heart ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas, Friday, April 10, 2015. Survivors and family members of those killed during the attack by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting were awarded medals: the Purple Heart for soldiers and Defense of Freedom Medals for civilians. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A top Army commander says he hopes that Purple Hearts awarded to dozens of survivors and relatives of soldiers who died in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting gives them closure.

The ceremony Friday took place on the sprawling Texas military post where an Army psychiatrist opened fire on unarmed soldiers and killed 13 people. Many of the medal recipients felt the honor was long overdue.

Army Lt. General Sean MacFarland acknowledged that it was likely painful for them to return to scene of the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.

The gunman, Nidal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist, was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to death.

A Fort Hood police officer who shot Hasan to help end the rampage was given the Defense of Freedom medal.