Sunday, August 7, was the anniversary of the Purple Heart, which is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded in conflict with an enemy force or while held by an enemy force as a prisoner of war.‑The Purple Heart is also awarded posthumously to the next of kin of members of our armed forces who are killed in conflict with an enemy force or die of a wound received in conflict with an enemy force.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world still in use.‑It was established on August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington issued an order establishing the Honorary Badge of Distinction, otherwise known as the Badge of Military Merit.‑Award of the Purple Heart ceased with the end of the Revolutionary War, but was revived in 1932, the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth.
The Purple Heart represents the most honorable of characteristics in a service member and a citizen.‑It has been awarded to more than 1,535,000 recipients, approximately 550,000 of who are still living.
On this, the 223rd anniversary of the establishment of the Purple Heart, we encourage all Americans to reflect on the price of freedom and take pride that we have among us men and women who were and are willing to pay that price.
To those who have been awarded the Purple Heart, we give humble thanks for your service and your sacrifice.