Purple Heart Day


Pacific Paratrooper

Purple Heart patch for those wounded in WWII Purple Heart patch for those wounded in WWII

On this date in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged in silver, with the word Merit etched.  It was to be presented for any one meritorious action and it permitted the wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge.   The honoree’s name and regiment were to be inscribed in “The Book of Merit.”

Purple Heart certificate given during the Korean War Purple Heart certificate given during the Korean War

Only three soldiers are known to have been awarded this medal during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell Jr.  The Book of Merit was lost and the medal was virtually forgotten.  In 1927, General Charles Summerall  sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to revive the Badge.

Patch for Afghanistan Patch for Afghanistan

General Douglas MacArthur took up the cause…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on August 7, 2015, in Korean War, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. What a lovely post, reflecting on those who sacrificed so much, for our country. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t aware of the history of the Purple Heart. Thanks for enlightening me to this important piece of military history.


  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    My oldest brother served in Vietnam.
    HUGS, Carolyn 🙂


  4. Wow! What an interesting start to the purple heart! I had no idea. I have been reading “The Story of a Decade – The 1940s” which is a compilation of news articles from the New Yorker during the 1940s. It is so interesting to read about the war from the perspective of the time. There were so many astounding acts of heroism that definitely deserve to be honored. Thank you for sharing!


  5. My dad was awarded a Purple Heart, in taking “some hill” (as he called it) in Luzon on 26 March 1944. The original was lost in a fire, but I requested a replacement and happily, they complied It’s with my brother now, an 82nd Airborne disabled Vet (Vietnam).


  6. Thanks for the reminder.


  7. Fascinating history.


  8. The Germans had a ‘wound stripe’, and something similar was used by the British, but stopped after WW2. Here are some details.
    I think it is good to honour those hurt in battle, although unfortunately, ‘purple hearts’ became the name of a certain kind of tablet drug during the 1960s.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (8-8-2015) | My Daily Musing

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