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Purple Heart Day
August 7

By Sarah Lane
Feb 23, 2006, 07:05 PST

Purple Heart Day – August 7th

The Medal of Honor that is now the Purple Heart actually began as the ‘Badge of Military Merit.’  On August 7th, 1782 in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington designed a new badge of distinction for enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.  They were awarded for ‘any singularly meritorious action.’  The badge was a figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding.  It was pinned to a uniform coat above the left breast.  That was then, this is now. 


On January 7th of the year 1931, a new design was reopened.  Ms. Elizabeth Will, an army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quarter, created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart.  It consists of a purple enameled heart within a bronze quarter inch border showing a relief profile of George Washington in continental uniform.  Washington’s family coat of arms adorns the medal, along with an inscription inside the heart that reads, ‘For Military Merit.’  


The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces that has been wounded or killed, died as a result of a wound in battle, or otherwise designated by the President of the United States.  This now includes those persons killed as a result of friendly fire.  Now we celebrate Purple Heart Day on the anniversary of its inception, August 7th.  On this day it is our patriotic duty to remember and recognize those people willing to serve our country, no matter the price.

Source:     U.S. Army, Center for Military History, The American War Library      


Additional Resources on the Purple Heart for Adults


Recipient Registry

This is the American Purple Heart Wound Chevron Registry Form. This Registry is trying to collect the names of every American awarded the Purple Heart medal for injuries sustained in battle against enemy forces.

Source:     Veterans, AOL


Issue Regulations - Purple Heart

Source:     The American War Library


Veterans Affairs

All the info you need to know about Veteran’s Affairs is here.  Search the directory for forms, hotlines, benefits, services, health care, and eligibility.

Source:     Department of Veterans Affairs

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