WHITTEMORE - A Purple Heart Day celebration will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Whittemore American Legion, sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion, Post 425.
Free snacks will be provided for all. Drinks are free to Purple Heart recipients, $1 for veterans, and $2 for the general public.
For more information contact Ron Askland, commander of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 425, at (712) 852-2211 during the day or 884-0055 evenings.
Under Iowa law, each Aug. 7 is Purple Heart Day, honoring the men and women who have been wounded or killed in military service.
The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the armed forces that has been wounded or killed, died as a result of a wound in battle, or otherwise designated by the president of the United States.
This now includes people killed as a result of friendly fire.
The Medal of Honor that is now the Purple Heart actually began as the "Military Badge of Merit." On Aug. 7, 1782, in Newburgh, N.Y., Gen. George Washington designed a new badge of distinction for enlisted men and noncommissioned officers. They were awarded for "any singularly meritorious action."
On Jan. 7, 1931, a new design was reopened. Elizabeth Will, an army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quarter, created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart. It consists of a purple enameled heart within a bronze quarter inch border showing a relief profile of George Washington in continental uniform. Washington's family coat of arms adorns the medal, along with an inscription inside the heart that reads, "For Military Merit."
The Sons of the American Legion will celebrate Purple Heart Day on the anniversary of its inception to remember and recognize those people willing to serve the country, no matter the price.