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Purple Heart Day started in 1782 to honor soldiers' sacrifice

Purple Heart Day started in 1782 to honor soldiers' sacrifice
Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 13:07:19-04

(CNN) – Aug. 7 is a day to honor the brave men and women who were either wounded in battle or paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

It's known as Purple Heart Day.

Gen. George Washington created the award on Aug. 7, 1782, calling it the "Badge for Military Merit." It consisted of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with silver, with the word "Merit" written across its face. It was presented to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action."

The award was basically a footnote from the Revolutionary War until Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the U.S. Department of War developed the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Today, the medal features a bust of Washington and his coat of arms.

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