it's name because it is a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, with a narrow binding
of silver and the word 'Merit' stitched in silver across it. It was inaugurated
by commander in chief George Washington on this day.
award was given to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action"
allowed the bearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. Their names
were also recorded in a "Book of Merit."
award was largely forgotten about, but in 1927 it came back into the public's
consciousness when an attempt was made to get it resurrected in a bill to Congress.
That attempt failed, but in 1931 General Douglas MacArthur vowed to resurrect
the award in time for George Washington's 200th birthday. The "Order of the
Purple Heart" was created.
the Purple Heart is awarded to any military personnel injured or killed in any
action against the enemy.