HARKER HEIGHTS — Bell County’s first Purple Heart city will commemorate Purple Heart Day at 8 a.m. Thursday at Harker Heights City Hall, organizers said.
Heights Mayor Rob Robinson will read a proclamation recognizing Purple Heart Day followed by recognition of Purple Heart individuals and Gold Star families, said Earl Williams, commander of Chapter 1876 Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Chapter 1876 Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Ladies Auxiliary is coordinating the event, which is open to the public, Williams said.
“The first badge of military merit was created by George Washington (on) Aug. 7, 1782, which is why we observe Purple Heart Day,” Williams said.
The figure of a purple silk heart was worn by soldiers with any singular meritorious action, according to information provided by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
On Feb. 22, 1932, the Purple Heart medal was introduced by Gen. Douglas MacArthur along with the creation of the Order of the Purple Heart, Williams said.
It is the oldest American military decoration for military merit and is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who were killed, wounded in action against an enemy, suffered maltreatment or were prisoners of war, according to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Williams said Purple Heart Day honors those who received the merit and family members of those who earned one.