On Friday, Aug. 7, Purple Heart Day, Americans will to pause to remember and honor the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.
With an estimated 132,228 veterans in Riverside County, this day bears great significance.
There are a variety of way to observe the day, according to MilitaryBenefits.info:
- States, counties, and cities pause in recognition of the service and sacrifice of their local sons and daughters as do sports and entertainment entities.
- Major League Baseball teams pay homage to their local Purple Heart recipients during special pre-game and 7th inning ceremonies.
- Veteran and military organizations hold remembrance meetings for fallen heroes and special events to thank soldiers, veterans, and Purple Heart recipients on this day.
- The Purple Heart Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, recommends donating time and money to the foundation or to other organizations working with Purple Heart recipients.
- People take the time to listen to soldiers and veterans and learn more about their life stories and their military service.
- American flags are flown at homes and businesses.
The Purple Heart has a long list of criteria for eligibility-too long to list here. But in general it may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who have been “wounded, was killed, or who has died or may hereafter die of wounds received” from, according to the U.S. Army official site, any action against the United States, action with an opposing armed force, the results of any hostile “foreign force” and many other situations where men and women in uniform may find themselves under attack.
In general, the Purple Heart is awarded for injuries sustained because of enemy attack. Injuries sustained for other reasons not related to things “not caused by enemy agents” are generally not acceptable as grounds for receiving the Purple Heart, though friendly fire injuries do qualify as long as the friendly fire was intended for the enemy. The Purple Heart is now given to persons who are injured, wounded or died while a prisoner of war (POW).
One contemporary interpretation of the color of the medal is that the color represents the blood of all those who have made sacrifices in war, but traditionally the color is thought to represent the courage of those who serve.
- Purple Heart: Shutterstock