Washington, DC – Purple Heart recipients and their families will receive increased national honors under legislation introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo this week. The bipartisan Senate resolution, S. Con. Res. 36, sponsored by Crapo and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) establishes August 7, 2009, as “National Purple Heart Recognition Day.”
The Purple Heart is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed in combat during military service. The resolution, expected to be approved by Unanimous Consent by the Senate, encourages all Americans to gather in support of and to honor all Purple Heart recipients, past and present, this August 7th.
“This is one more important step to ensure that all Americans understand and appreciate the enormous service and sacrifice of our brave veterans,” said Crapo. “This resolution seeks to bring honor to the more than one million recipients of the Purple Heart, and stands as another reminder that freedom is not truly free for those men and women who protect us around the clock and around the world.”
“My father and both grandfathers served our nation in uniform and taught me from an early age about the sacrifices our troops and their families make to keep our nation free. That is why I have fought to ensure our nation’s military service members, veterans, and their families receive the benefits, care, and recognition they have earned and certainly deserve. America’s Purple Heart recipients deserve every honor we can bestow upon them for their sacrifice,” Lincoln said.
Jeffrey A. Roy, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), says the legislation would “not only honor the father of the Purple Heart Medal, General George Washington, but would honor those who have been recipients of this medal, both past and unfortunately the present.”
The resolution reads as follows:
S. CON. RES. 36
Supporting the goals and ideals of “National Purple Heart Recognition Day”
Whereas the Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world in present use;
Whereas the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President to a member of the Armed Forces who is wounded in a conflict with an enemy force or is wounded while held by an enemy force as a prisoner of war, and is awarded posthumously to the next of kin of a member of the Armed Forces who is killed in a conflict with an enemy force or who dies of wounds received in a conflict with an enemy force;
Whereas the Purple Heart was established on August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington issued an order establishing the Honorary Badge of Distinction, otherwise known as the Badge of Military Merit;
Whereas the award of the Purple Heart ceased with the end of the Revolutionary War, but was revived in 1932, the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington, out of respect for his memory and military achievements; and
Whereas observing National Purple Heart Recognition Day is a fitting tribute to George Washington and to the more than 1,535,000 recipients of the Purple Heart, approximately 550,000 of whom are still living: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress—
(1) supports the goals and ideals of “National Purple Heart Recognition Day”;
(2) encourages all people in the United States to learn about the history of the Purple Heart and to honor its recipients; and
(3) calls upon the people of the United States to conduct appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to demonstrate support for members of the Armed Forces who have been awarded the Purple Heart.