Posts Tagged ‘Purple Heart Week’

Governor Deal proclaims “Purple Heart Week” in Georgia

Purple Heart (Click to expand the Proclamation)

Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring August 4 – 10, 2013 as Purple Heart Week; a time set aside to honor recipients of the Purple Heart medal. This week marks the 231st anniversary of the establishment of the Purple Heart by General George Washington.

The Order of the Purple Heart for Military Merit – the oldest military honor in the world in present use – is a combat decoration awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy. It is also awarded posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. The Purple Heart is the first award made available to a common soldier.

General George Washington devised the Badge of Military Merit in the figure of a heart in purple cloth on August 7, 1782. He wrote that it was to be awarded “whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed.” On February 22, 1932, the U.S. War Department designated this honor as the Purple Heart. The Military Order of the Purple Heart of the United States of America was chartered by Congress on August 26, 1958 as the only organization of combat wounded veterans. Eligibility criteria for the medal expanded to include those killed or wounded as a result of an international terrorist attack or as part of a peacekeeping force.

To date, more than 1.7 million men and women have received the Purple Heart. Georgia is home to more than 5,000 veterans and active duty military personnel who have received the honor.