What You Need to Know About the Purple Heart Medal

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What You Need to Know About the Purple Heart Medal

What is the Purple Heart Medal?

Observed during the 7th of August, Americans pause to remember and honor the brave men and women who made sacrifices for their country.

A Purple Heart Medal is one of the military's oldest awards that is given to service members who have been wounded on the battlefield or paid the ultimate sacrifice as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. Military. 



Facts About the Purple Heart:

  • The Purple Heart's first predecessor is called The Fidelity Medallion. It's the oldest decoration of the United States military by act of the Continental Congress in 1780. It was awarded to three soldiers who captured British Major John Andre. This Fidelity Medallion was never again awarded and became regarded as a commemorative decoration.
fidelity medallion
  • George Washington created the award on Aug 7, 1782, but was originally called the Badge of Military Merit, which was designed in the form of a cloth purple heart and was given to Soldiers for any commendable action. Washington wanted to acknowledge merit, especially among the soldiers that were enlisted. 
george washington statue in trafalgar square

"... The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit directs whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding."

  • Since the Fidelity Medallion was never again bestowed, it became regarded as a commemorative decoration. Making the Badge of Military Merit instead be considered to be the first U.S. military decoration and the Purple Heart's predecessor. 

  • The Badge of Military Merit was only presented to a few soldiers during that time and was forgotten until Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who wanted to revive and rename the award in time for Washington's 200th birthday, on Feb 22, 1932.

  • Over the years, The Purple Heart evolved into what it is today, in 1932 it was not authorized to be awarded to anyone except to those serving the Army or the Army Air Corps. But in 1942, a presidential order opened the Purple Heart to all branches of the military.
purple heart medal
  • Purple Heart Day was established in 2014 to acknowledge and recognize those who have been awarded the decoration. The color purple is believed to be the color because it represents courage and bravery.

  • An estimation of 1.8 million Purple Hearts has been issued since 1932 according to The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

To all those who have aided in creating a better place with your sacrifices as well as your dedication to our country, Best Car Gurus wants you to know that we appreciate your service then, now, and always. To show our gratitude, all active-duty members, veterans, retired members of the military and armed forces, we have a special "Military and Veteran's Discount '' for you!


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