August 7th is Purple Heart Day in Wisconsin and across the United States, saluting all of the brave American warriors who have been wounded in battle.
This occasion marks the date on which General George Washington pinned heart-shaped purple cloths on a trio of Revolutionary War soldiers in 1782, after the men suffered injuries in combat. The custom of military awards ceased for several years, appearing again during the Civil War.
The Purple Heart officially reemerged in 1932 as an enameled medal sporting Washington’s own profile, along with the founding of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a U.S. Congress-chartered organization for combat-wounded veterans.
In 1942, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered that the Purple Heart be presented to qualified members of all branches of the U.S. military, even retroactively to Pearl Harbor Day, December 6, 1941. Ten years later, President Harry S. Truman extended the order back to April 5, 1917, to include those serving in World War I as well.
The Purple Heart is the world’s oldest military medal still in use.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an official proclamation on July 24, 2012, designating August 7th as Purple Heart Day each year in the Badger State. Designated as Wisconsin State Statutes s. 14.16 (11), it reads as follows:
"The governor shall annually proclaim August 7 as Purple Heart Day and urge the people and organizations of the state to display the American flag on that day as a public expression of the recognition of those individuals who have been wounded or killed in action preserving the freedoms that all United States citizens cherish."
A special American military veterans gathering is scheduled for the afternoon of August 7, 2013, at Sturgeon Bay’s Stone Harbor Resort. This event includes a Veterans Benefit Expo, marking Purple Heart Day in Wisconsin.
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