Cape Coral, Florida became a Purple Heart City in 2015. Most recently Hendry County joined a list of 27 counties in Florida designated as Purple Heart Counties.
Purple Heart Appreciation Day is August 7 and we decided to look at how this honorable medal came to be.
The modern purple heart dates back to 1932, but before that, it was known as “the badge of military merit.”
This merit badge created by George Washington was to honor enlisted soldiers. After the revolutionary war this badge was forgotten, but in 1932 the purple heart was created for the bicentennial of Washington’s birth.
Since then, the Purple Heart was only given to active members of the Army and Army Air Corps personnel. It wasn’t until 1942 that President Franklin Roosevelt allowed the Navy to award the Purple Heart to Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel.
Also, President Roosevelt made the Purple Heart available posthumous. Any member of the military killed on or after December 7, 1941 would be able to be awarded a Purple Heart.