Purple Heart Day

Purple Heart Day

The Purple Heart medal is a symbol of great sacrifice. In modern times the Purple Heart medal is given to those who have been severely injured or killed in the line of duty as a result of enemy action. More than 1.8 million Purple Heart medals have been awarded since their origination in 1782, according to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. 

Like many things in this great nation, the origins of the Purple Heart medal trace back to one of our founding fathers, George Washington. In 1782, President George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit to honor those who displayed extraordinary fidelity and unusual gallantry in battle. At that time the award consisted of a cloth purple heart which could be pinned to a uniform. 

Over the years the badge of courage was presented to numerous members of the military, although it began to fade in the early 1900s, only to later be revived in 1932 as what we now know as officially the "Purple Heart medal." Ten years later President Roosevelt further defined the requirements for recipients and expanded the eligibility to all branches of the military in addition to allowing the medal to be presented posthumous.  

Fun facts: 

- One US President was awarded the Purple Heart medal, President John F. Kennedy

- Curry T. Haynes, a serviceman in the Army, received ten Purple Heart medals over the course of his military service, the most of any individual

Do you personally know any Purple Heart medal recipients? 


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