National Purple Heart Day

Eight facts about the Purple Heart:

1) Until 1931, the Purple Heart was known as the Badge of Military Merit.

2) The three words inscribed on the reverse side of the Purple Heart are “For Military Merit.”

3) Per surviving records, Sergeant Elijah Churchill Sergeant William Brown and Sergeant Daniel Bissell, Jr. are the three noncommissioned officers who received the original honor badge (Purple Heart).

4) In 1931 Miss Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revive medal.

5) After its disuse following the Revolution, the Purple Heart was revived on the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth (the original creator of the medal).

6) On December 3, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt extended the use of the Purple Heart to all services.

7) The Purple Heart is ranked immediately behind the Bronze Star in order of precedence among the personal awards.

8) The Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military and differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not “recommended” for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.