Submitted By The Museum of Military History
The Museum of Military History of Osceola County invites the public to join staff and honored guests in celebrating Purple Heart Day on August 10, 2019. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and will be conducted by Museum Staff, the 463rd Air Cadet Honor Guard. For a great patriotic and educational event for the youngsters and a nod to your own family’s military heroes, join the ceremony and tour the Museum.
If you have a Purple Heart recipient that you would like to be recognized during the ceremony, bring the pertinent information and a Museum volunteer will gather the information in the lobby prior to the start of the ceremony. All Purple Heart recipients of our country will be honored and the importance of the Purple Heart medal will be recognized. Open testimonials are welcomed. Light refreshments will be available.
National Purple Heart Day is August 7th. On that day the nation pauses to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made by brave men and women in the military. The Purple Heart medal is presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. It is also awarded to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war. According to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor located in New Windsor, NY, more than 1.8 million Purple Heart medals have been presented to service members since the award was created in 1782 by General George Washington.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.”
Washington’s “Purple Heart” was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown, and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The “Book of Merit” which recorded recipients was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten until 1927, when General Charles P. Summerall, the U.S. Army chief-of-staff, sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to “revive the Badge of Military Merit.” In 1931, Summerall’s successor, General Douglas MacArthur, took up the cause, hoping to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. On February 22, 1932, Washington’s 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the “Order of the Purple Heart.” Retaining the purple color of the original, the new Purple Heart also displays a bust of Washington and his coat of arms.
The Museum of Military History is located at 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, 34746. It’s open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.