Purple Heart Anniversary

Purple Heart Anniversary

Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776, Military Order of the Purple Heart

IMG_0208Today at our August 2016 Regular School Board Member in honor of August 7th Purple Heart Anniversary, Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776, Military Order of the Purple Heart Commander “Bud” Allen and Chapter Adjutant and Historian Curt Ebitz helped with the opening exercises.

The Citrus County School District was again recognized for being the First Purple Heart School District and for the Veteran’s in the classroom program.  During the meeting a new plaque honoring Citrus County School District as being the First Purple Heart School District was unveiled.

During the opening Curt Ebitz read the ‘The History of the Purple Heart’  and shared that approximately 130 Purple Heart recipients currently live in Citrus County.

The History of the Purple Heart, first known as “Badge of Military Merit”

At his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, on August 7, 1782, General George Washington devised two new badges of distinction for enlisted men and noncommissioned officers. To signify loyal military service, he ordered a chevron to be worn on the left sleeve of the uniform coat for the rank and file who had completed three years of duty “with bravery, fidelity, and good conduct”; two chevrons signified six years of service. The second badge, for “any singularly meritorious Action,” was the “Figure of a Heart in Purple Cloth or Silk edged with narrow Lace or Binding.” This device, the Badge of Military Merit, was affixed to the uniform coat above the left breast and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge and to have his name and regiment inscribed in a Book of Merit. The Badge specifically honored the lower ranks, where decorations were unknown in contemporary European Armies. As Washington intended, the road to glory in a patriot army is thus open to all.”

Pre-WW2 Awards: The Purple Heart as we know it today was reestablished in 1932 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. The original criteria for award of the Purple Heart as published in the War Department Circular No. 6 of February 22, 1932 states that the medal be awarded to anyone serving in the Army who had received combat-related injuries or had received the AEF’s Meritorious Service Citation Certificate during WWI, the latter criteria harkening back to the intent of George Washington’s “Badge of Military Merit”.

WWII Awards: In April 1942 the War Department amended its policy regarding the issuance of the Purple Heart. The new regulations authorized the posthumous award of the Purple Heart retroactive to December 7, 1941, and eliminated the use of the medal as a merit award.

(source: http://www.citruspurpleheart.org/page3.html)

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