Purple Heart Day
Reported By SPC K.Skitz
The Purple Heart medal is the oldest medal ever to be bestowed on military personnel. While it wasn’t always called the Purple Heart, it has been awarded to over 1.8 million service members since its induction in 1782. On August 7th every year Purple Heart Day is recognized to honor those who have been awarded the medal for being injured or killed in combat operations.
A brief history of the Purple Heart is as follows:
1780 - The Fidelity Medallion was created by the Continental Congress. So far as the known surviving records show, this honor badge was granted to only three men, all of them noncommissioned officers: Sergeant Daniel Bissell of the 2d Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Line; Sergeant William Brown of the 5th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Line, and Sergeant Elijah Churchill of the 2d Continental Dragoons, which was also a Connecticut Regiment.
1782 - The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by General George Washington by order from his headquarters at Newburgh, New York, August 7, 1782. Which consisted of purple cloth in the shape of a heart and was awarded to those who displayed unusual gallantry in combat.
The writings of General Washington quoted in part: "The General ever desirous to cherish a virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military Merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward".
1932 - By Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, and ultimately revived from it’s forgotten past and formed into the Purple Heart by order of General Douglas MacArthur, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Orders No. 3, dated 22 February 1932. On May 28, 137 WWI veterans were awarded the Purple Heart.
1942 - By Executive Order 9277, dated 3 December 1942 President Roosevelt authorizes the Purple Heart to be awarded to all branches of the United States Military.
2015 - The Department of Defense extends eligibility of the Purple Heart to those who are wounded or killed by domestic terrorist activities but only military personnel are to be awarded the decoration.
There are many more points of interest in the history of the Purple Heart but those are the most interesting. Criteria For Receiving A Purple Heart
The Purple Heart has a long list of criteria for eligibility-too long to list here. Above are only some of the most interesting points. Further reading on Purple Heart history here: https://www.thepurpleheart.com/history/