Celebrating Purple Heart Day

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Celebrating Purple Heart Day
 On August 7, 1782, General George Washington made this announcement:
The General ever desirous to cherish a virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military Merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear . . . over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth. . . . Not only instances of unusual gallantry but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service . . . shall be awarded.
The award, then called the Badge of Military Merit, was only given to three Revolutionary War soldiers by Washington himself. After World War I, the award was revivied and redesigned to the Purple Heart Medal we know today. Since then, 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been distributed to service members of all branches.

The award remains well-known for its striking design and because it is unique in the US Military– any service member who sheds blood or sustains a qualifying injury while defending our Country will receive a Purple Heart no matter his or her position, rank or standing.

Today, and every day, Marines’ Memorial remembers their sacrifices and offers heartfelt thanks to all of our Purple Heart Recipients.

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