Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Purple Heart

I had a request for a Purple Heart painting in honor of Memorial Day. Am posting this a little early as they needed it this week. I researched the history of the Purple Heart. Here is a brief summary.
The Purple Heart is a military decoration awarded to any member of the Armed Forces serving in any capacity after 5 April 1917, having been wounded or killed. An individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it. The Purple Heart is the oldest symbol and award that is still given to members of the U.S. military.
The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established in 1782 by George Washington —then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revoltionary War soldiers and fell into disuse following the War of Independence. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again officially until after World War I. In 1931, General Douglas MacArthur, reopened work on a new design which was issued on the bicentennial of George Washington's birth.
During World War II, nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number. In 2003 , there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan and United States are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.
George Washington’s original order creating the medal includes the phrase, "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen." This little painting is a small token to remind us of their sacrifice and to express honor for those who have suffered for our Freedom.
All of my paintings may be viewed at my website www.DianeMorganPaints.com

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