Purple Heart Day - Purple Heart Day will be observed on the 7th of August 2021. The nation will pause to remember the sacrifices made by the brave members of the US military.

Purple Heart Day 2024 – August 7, 2024

Purple Heart Day on August 7 is the kind of day created to give back. It’s a day for Americans to remember and honor the men and women who bravely represented their country and were wounded or killed whilst serving. These people are decorated with a Purple Heart in the name of the President, and this day is for remembering them and their sacrifice. Some states, counties, and cities pause in recognition, as do some sports and entertainment entities. Military and veteran organizations also hold meetings for remembrance. Join us as we honor those that have been given a Purple Heart.

History of Purple Heart Day

The original Purple Heart, designated as a Badge of Merit, was awarded by George Washington in 1782. There was a lack of funds in the Continental Army at the time so the award was a way to honor enlisted and deserving people. The honor is presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.” It was designed with a piece of silk bound through it with a thin edge of silver. Washington only gave out three of the badges himself, and instead authorized subordinates to issue the badges as they saw fit.The Badge of Merit faded from use but was revived and relaunched in 1932, this time as the Purple Heart. As well as honoring those wounded in combat, this iteration of the Purple Heart recognized commendable action. It was in 1944 that the policy was tweaked slightly and the Purple Heart was given the purpose we know it for today, specifically to honor those who have been wounded or died.The first service member to be given the modern Purple Heart was General Douglas MacArthur for his service in the Pacific theater during World War II. In total there have been 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded over the years.Purple Heart Day was first observed in 2014 and has been observed every year since. It’s a chance to reflect on the bravery of those who have fought for the U.S. and to ensure that their courage is never forgotten.

Purple Heart Day timeline

Gifts from George

George Washington creates the Purple Heart award to commend soldiers.

February 1932
Birthday Wish

The award was forgotten about until now on George Washington’s 200th birthday.

Military Merit

This year, the Purple Heart Recipients are able to join the newly formed Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

Celebrating Service

Purple Heart Day is first established.

Purple Heart Day FAQs

Is there a list of Purple Heart recipients?

There is no known list of names of all recipients in existence.

Why is the Purple Heart purple?

The color is meant to represent bravery. The Purple Heart is in fact the oldest military decoration still presented to service members. The award was always meant to be ‘‘a figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.”

How much is a purple heart worth?

Purple Hearts sell for $30 at a military base. Really, they are meant for recipients simply looking for a replacement, but sellers do not often ask for proof of eligibility.

When was National Purple Heart Day first observed?

It was observed first in 2014.

What Purple Heart means?

A Purple Heart is a distinction and means a service member has greatly sacrificed themselves, or paid the ultimate price, while in the line of duty.

How to Observe Purple Heart Day

  1. Donate to the MOPH

    This is a great time to donate to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. You can pay your respects by aiding those who bore the burden of battle. You can also support wounded veterans by buying a purple heart.

  2. Learn more about the military

    Educate yourself on the military and what they do. Read the stories of people who have been in a battle to understand why the Purple Heart awards are so important.

  3. Use #PurpleHeartDay online

    If you have a family member or friend who served for the U.S. and has a Purple Heart share their story with #PurpleHeartDay on Twitter and Instagram.

5 Facts About Purple Heart Day

  1. Pawn-ple

    An unknown soldier from Michigan who served in Afghanistan pawned his purple heart for cash.

  2. A million hearts

    1.8 Million Purple Hearts have been handed out since 1932.

  3. Join the club

    In total there are 45,000 members of the MOPH today.

  4. Whose in?

    An accurate list of names who were awarded Purple Hearts no longer exists.

  5. Ladies and Gentlemen…

    A female lieutenant, Annie G.Fox received a Purple Heart during World War II for her work on Pearl Harbor.

Why Purple Heart Day is Important

  1. It recognizes sacrifice

    The Purple Heart recognizes the sacrifice made by soldiers who were willing to put their lives on the line for their country. These brave soldiers deserve to be remembered throughout history.

  2. The history

    It is important to remember our history and how we ended up where we are today. Purple Heart Day affords us the opportunity for reflection on everything that has gone before us.

  3. Nobody is forgotten

    This day is for remembering everyone who was ever wounded or killed representing the U.S. It means nobody is forgotten and the memory lives on.

Purple Heart Day dates

Year Date Day
2023 August 7 Monday
2024 August 7 Wednesday
2025 August 7 Thursday
2026 August 7 Friday
2027 August 7 Saturday