National Purple Heart Day
About National Purple Heart Day
When is National Purple Heart Day? This holiday is always celebrated on August 7
Since the birth of our country, many millions of men and women served in the military to protect our country. They keep us safe and protect our freedom. They risk their lives so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of freedom. Some of them do not come back alive. Others return seriously injured with long-term and permanent injuries. Today is National Purple Heart Day. This August 7 holiday exists to honor and respect those who gave their lives or were wounded fighting wars or in the fight against terrorism. Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit, the Purple Heart is one of America’s highest military awards.
The Purple Heart medal is awarded to American service personnel killed while defending our country. Military personnel seriously wounded in action also qualify. This medal is given as a result of action by an enemy of our country. This includes wars, military actions, hostilities, and the fight against terrorism. It is a great honor to receive this medal.
We thank all Purple Heart recipients past and present for their dedication, and for their sacrifice. Importantly, we also thank the families of these brave men and women.
History of the Purple Heart Medal
The Badge of Military Merit is the predecessor to the Purple Heart Medal. It was the first medal given to our country’s soldiers. On August 7, 1782, Revolutionary War General George Washington ordered the creation of this medal to honor soldiers who died or were seriously wounded. Washington gave his award to just three people during the Revolutionary War. After the Revolutionary War, it was not used again until after World War I.
In 1932, Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur, re-established the medal. This medal is now renamed the Purple Heart. There are over 1.8 million recipients. It is important to note that not everyone killed or wounded while in the service qualifies for this high award. Rather, there is a well-established list of qualifications. Notably, victims suffering from PTSD do not qualify. The military awards the Purple Heart medal to those killed by friendly fire as long as it occurs during military action against enemies of our country.
Purple Heart Trivia
Here are some interesting facts about the Purple Heart Medal:
- It is the nation’s oldest military medal. 1.8 million service personnel have received it.
- John F. Kennedy is the only U.S. President to receive the Purple Heart.
- The Purple Heart is not the highest medal someone can receive. The medal of honor is the highest. The military awards this medal for acts of valor.
- Only 3 men received the Badge of Military Merit during the Revolutionary War.
- WWII Army General Douglas MacArthur was the first to receive the modern-day Purple Heart medal.
- Oher award recipients include James Arness, Charles Bronson, James Garner, John McCain, Colin Powell, Rod Serling
- Animals can receive this medal. Animal recipients include Sgt. Stubby the dog and Sgt. Reckless the horse.
How to Celebrate and Participate in National Purple Heart Day
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate and participate in National Purple Heart Day:
- Give thanks and show your appreciation to recipients you know or meet.
- If you are a Purple Heart recipient, display it with pride.
- Recipients, tell your story to family and friends.
- Treat a recipient to lunch or dinner.
- Learn more about military medals.
“The land of the free because of the brave” – – Author Uknown
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – – Winston Churchill
“America was not built on fear. America is built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – – Harry S. Truman
History and Origin of National Purple Heart Day
Our research has not yet identified who created this holiday. We certainly understand why. We traced this holiday back to before 2000. While the medal in its current form has been given out since 1917, the holiday was created much later.
There are no presidential proclamation or act of Congress establishing this holiday. However, we truly believe it should be a national day. Considering all of the servicemen and servicewomen who have been wounded or killed protecting our country, this holiday deserves to be a national one.
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