Serving the country is a selfless act that entails severe risk and sacrifice and should never go unrecognized. Each year on August 7, we honor the United States Armed Forces members who have been wounded or lost their lives during military service with the National Purple Heart Day.
This special day of remembrance is dedicated to all who have sacrificed for our freedom. It’s a chance to express our gratitude and honor the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and other U.S. military branches who have selflessly served and defended our country.
Read on to learn more about Purple Heart Appreciation Day, how it started, and how you can honor those who have bravely served our country.
What Is Purple Heart Day?
The Purple Heart is the oldest American military decoration in existence. President and General George Washington created what was initially known as the Badge of Military Merit on August 7, 1782. At the time, the Continental Army lacked funds, so General Washington had the badge made to commend and commemorate soldiers’ meritorious service.
It was made up of a piece of silk and a purple heart-shaped cloth patch with the word “Merit” embroidered in silver. Washington presented the award to only three soldiers who had served with exceptional bravery, fidelity, and service during the Revolutionary War. Washington’s subordinate officers awarded the Badge of Merit to other worthy recipients.
Although it was never formally abolished, the Badge of Military Merit was disused, and it wasn’t until after World War I that the decoration was resurrected. Then, on February 22, 1932, General Douglas MacArthur revived the Purple Heart award in honor of Washington’s 200th birthday. The modern Purple Heart is a gold medal with a purple heart and Washington’s profile in the middle.
The first recipient of this Purple Heart medal was General MacArthur himself. At the beginning of World War II, it was used to honor every soldier wounded in action against the enemy and recognize those with the meritorious performance of duty. The award was modified in 1944, discontinuing it for commendable service and opening it up to any U.S. Armed Force service member wounded or killed in combat.
According to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, over 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since the decoration’s re-establishment in 1932. It has been given to those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Afghanistan War, and other military conflicts.
Purple Heart Day is a vital reminder of the service, dedication, and sacrifice of all those who gave their lives to defend our country. In addition, this day allows us to thank living recipients and honor those who have passed away.
What Does a Purple Heart Signify?
When they receive the Purple Heart, wounded and killed service members are recognized for their courage, sacrifice, and patriotism. It’s a symbol of honor that commemorates their bravery and dedication to defending our country. This decoration also signals to future generations of military personnel the importance of committing to service despite the risks involved.
The color purple symbolizes the bravery and courage of those who have received the honor. It also represents the pain and suffering of war and shows respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s essential to remember that every Purple Heart recipient has a story of courage, loyalty, strength, and patriotism that can never be forgotten.
Is a Purple Heart a High Honor?
The Purple Heart is among the most prestigious honors in the U.S. military. It’s given only to military personnel wounded or killed in action or who have died from a wound or injury received during service. It is also bestowed posthumously to service members who were killed in action and their families. A high-ranking military official usually presents the honor to the next of kin in a formal ceremony.
Why Is It Called a Purple Heart?
The Purple Heart was first known as the Badge of Military Merit and was made to honor soldiers’ meritorious service. It became known as the Purple Heart in 1932 when General MacArthur revived it. This award is also commonly referred to as the Purple Heart because of the medal’s shape and color, representing its recipients’ courage and sacrifice.
Why Do We Celebrate Purple Heart Day?
The Purple Heart Day history dates back to the award’s creation in 1782 and its revival in 1932. However, the first official celebration of Purple Heart Day was in 2014, when it was established as an annual holiday. The purpose of this day is to recognize the service of our wounded and fallen heroes and to pay tribute to the living recipients of this distinguished honor.
Observing Purple Heart Day shows our appreciation for these brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country. We remember their courage, strength, loyalty, and patriotism and thank them for defending our freedoms.
How To Honor Veterans With Purple Hearts
A veteran with shrapnel wounds because of enemy action is an appropriate recipient of the Purple Heart honor. It’s essential to remember and honor them for their courage and strength.
The best way to honor these brave men and women is by expressing gratitude for their dedication and support. This can include sending cards or letters of appreciation, attending memorial services and other gatherings, volunteering with organizations that support veterans, and donating to veteran-focused charities.
Best Way To Support Active Duty Service Members on Purple Heart Day
We can honor and support active duty service members on Purple Heart Day by sending letters of appreciation and care packages. These simple gestures of appreciation can go a long way in showing our support for our brave heroes.
Additionally, we can celebrate every military personnel member during Military Appreciation Month in May. This month also includes other military-focused holidays, such as Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, and Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
How Can Benefits Help Me?
Purple Heart Day is a reminder of the courage and commitment of those who have served in the military. Benefits.com by Trajector Medical can help veterans with Purple Hearts and their families access benefits and resources.