Purple Heart Day falls on the 7th of August every year. This day commemorates the creation of one of America’s oldest military decorations for military merit. It is awarded to wounded or killed service members who had served on or after April 5, 1917. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, NY.
In commemoration of Purple Heart Day, here is some information about what it stands for and how you can get involved.
History of the Purple Heart
In 1782, General George Washington created the Badge of Merit. The award was intended to be given for “any singularly meritorious action,” and its design featured a purple heart-shaped piece of silk bound with silver that said “Merit” across it. Who made the badge is unknown, but we do know this…it symbolizes courage and devotion from every American Patriot.
The Purple Heart medal has its origins in the Revolutionary War era. General Douglas MacArthur took steps to have the medal redesigned. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Today it features George Washington’s bust and coat of arms. The Purple Heart award was re-authorized in 1932 for some U.S. Army veterans from conflicts before WWI.
lt is estimated that 1.9 million service members have earned the Purple Heart since its creation — but these are only estimates. There are no accurate records of which soldiers had originally received it for commendable actions and which ones were wounded or killed in combat. Additionally, the database is constantly being updated.
How to Observe Purple Heart Day
Purple Heart Day can be commemorated in small ways, such as by showing your support by observance or recognition of a Purple Heart recipient.
Purple Heart Day falls on the 7th of August every year. This day commemorates the creation of one of America’s oldest military decorations for military merit. It is awarded to wounded or killed service members who had served on or after April 5, 1917.
Here are a few ideas:
Fly the American Flag
Flying the American flag at home is a simple and awe-inspiring way to honor those who have been injured or lost their lives for our country.
Visit Local Memorials
Consider visiting a local veteran cemetery or dropping off flowers and small American flags to show your gratitude.
Attend a Local Event
Reach out to your neighborhood American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars for any events that may be in need of assistance on August 7.
Visit the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
Head to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New York’s Hudson Valley for an immersive look into WWI. The 7,500 square-foot space features a World War I photographic history timeline, a Roll of Honor database and another video tribute to U.S. veterans, as well as other educational highlights for visitors.
Donate to The Military Order of the Purple Heart Foundation
This foundation is the only veterans service organization composed exclusively of combat veterans. States all across the US have chapters, and the foundation provides a variety of services to veterans and their families – regardless of whether or not they were awarded a Purple Heart.
Observe a Moment of Silence
We all deserve to take a moment of silence for those who sacrificed their lives in the name of liberty. Be sure to thank veterans, too, especially if you get lucky and meet a Purple Heart veteran on this special day of recognition.
Post on Social Media
Create a post to your social media account to commemorate this day. Be sure to use #PurpleHeartDay in your post.
On Purple Heart Day, we honor the sacrifice of our military members and their families, and especially those who
earned the honor of the Purple Heart. In addition to remembering those who gave all in service for our country, it is
important that we take time to appreciate what they have done for us as well. If you know someone with a purple
heart, especially a beloved family member, make sure they get your thanks on this special day!