Did you know that General George Washington created the Purple Heart in 1782?
The badge was originally called the Badge of Military Merit. The badge was awarded to enlisted soldiers who performed a ‘singularly meritorious act.’ This badge was only awarded to a handful of soldiers. After the Revolutionary War, the Badge of Military Merit did not catch on to have a place among the other military merits.
It wasn’t until 1932 that the Purple Heart was created in the spirit of the Badge of Military Merit, to celebrate George Washington’s bicentennial birthday. The first soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart during World War I. It was during World War II that the Purple Heart changed from being awarded for meritorious service to being awarded to those who were wounded or killed in combat.
Today the Purple Heart is still able to be awarded to any member of the US Armed Forces that has been wounded, killed, or died later on from injuries received in combat actions.
August 7th was set aside in 2014 to honor the tradition of the Purple Heart and to remember those members of the military who have been wounded in battle or paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Do you know anyone who has been awarded a Purple Heart?