Purple Heart Day – August 7
August 5, 2021
Most American adults have heard of the Purple Heart Award, but what is the origin of this distinguished honor? Inspired by Washington’s Badge of Merit, on February 22, 1932 General Douglas MacArthur created the modern Purple Heart. But it wasn’t until that May, the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, that it was awarded. 137 WWI veterans were honored with the award at Temple Hill, New Windsor, New York, the site of the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-83.
Currently, the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the US President presiding at the time of the award for soldiers who were wounded, killed or died of wounds who served after April 15, 1917. Other instances of the award being given include Purple Hearts for death by acts of terror outside the US, domestic terror, friendly fire, and POWs after December 7, 1941.