Each year on August 7th, “National Purple Heart Day” is recognized across the country. It is a day to honor United States veterans who were wounded or gave the ultimate sacrifice on the front lines. These men and women showed great courage in the face of brutal combat and our brave service members forever deserve our gratitude. In Washington DC, the day holds a special significance, as many veterans are recognized across the city. DC Tours is proud to honor our dedicated soldiers on Purple Heart Day and we thank our nation’s Purple Heart recipients for their service.
The Purple Heart
Purple Heart Day is a day to show respect to the long list of US veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart.
A little background on the award:
· It is the military’s oldest medal, dating back to 1780 when a commemorative version of the award called the “Fidelity Medallion” was created by the Continental Congress. In 1782, General George Washington bestowed this honor on service members, known then as the “Badge of Military Merit.”
· The award was largely forgotten until 1932. General Douglas MacArthur approved reinstating the award as “the Purple Heart” on Washington’s 200th birthday.
· Over several years, various eligibility requirements have been signed into law for posthumous Purple Heart awards, including prisoners of war (POWs), “friendly fire” injuries or deaths, and other circumstances after 1917.
· Roughly 1.8 million Purple Heart medals have been awarded.
· Famous Purple Heart recipients include actor James Garner, NFL football player Pat Tillman, and President John F. Kennedy.
· The color purple is thought to represent courage.
The Purple Heart is an award that service members of all military ranks and branches of service are eligible to receive. Its significance as an award is monumental, because it recognizes service members, who were wounded in the line of duty and heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Purple Heart Day, August 7th
Since 2014, Purple Heart Day has been unofficially celebrated in the U.S. Although businesses remain open, the holiday is observed with volunteerism, recognition of our courageous troops, and reflection.
Combat veterans of numerous conflicts are often honored on Purple Heart Day at local VFW or American Legion events, memorial services, and at certain military or government ceremonies. Every year, posthumous Purple Hearts are awarded, moments of silence are held, and living veterans are given the opportunity to share their stories.
You can show your support for our Purple Heart veterans by remembering to honor living and fallen service members who have served our country. Fly the American flag, take a moment to remember those who have been lost, or volunteer for a veteran’s cause. You can also give a donation to the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), a 45,000-member organization of combat veterans who have received the award.
A perfect way to commemorate Purple Heart Day is with an educational experience to our nation’s most prominent military and memorial landmarks, right here in Washington DC. Take a trip through the nation’s capital with DC Tours. We offer the best DC bus tours in the city, and have more than 20 years of experience serving our guests. Purple Heart Day is also significant for our team, because Lucky, our owner, is a disabled US Army Veteran. View the Washington Monument, the Korea Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and many other important sites. Book your trip with DC Tours for Purple Heart Day, today.