With the phrase, “Dedicated to all men and women wounded in all our wars” inscribed on top, the Military Order of the Purple Heart memorial honors wounded or killed combat veterans throughout history. Adorning the bottom of the memorial is the seal of each military branch, representing all veterans who were wounded or killed, regardless of branch. The memorial reads, “My stone is red for the blood they shed. The medal I bear is my country’s way to show they care. If I could be seen by all mankind, maybe peace will come on my lifetime.”
The Purple Heart is a highly-respected, and the longest-running, military award recognizing the wounded or killed active duty servicemen and women. The original award was known as the Badge of Military Merit, which used a purple cloth and shaped it in a heart, and was first awarded by George Washington following the Revolutionary War. The Badge of Military Merit was later decommissioned before World War 1, but was reinstated by Executive Order of the President of the United States as the Purple Heart on February 22, 1932.