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WATCH: The history of the Purple Heart

Today, August 7, the nation observes Purple Heart Day, commemorating the creation of the Purple Heart military medal and honoring its recipients.

The U.S. Department of Defense tweeted a short video history of the medal to honor the nation’s more than 1.7 million combat-wounded Purple Heart recipients.

The Purple Heart is a combat decoration awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded by the enemy during combat and posthumously awarded to the next of kin in the names of soldiers who have died in battle or of wounds received in battle. General George Washington created the Purple Heart on August 7, 1782 while serving as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Called the Badge of Military Merit at the time, it was awarded to three Revolutionary soldiers in 1783. It is the nation’s oldest military award.

Take some time to day to pay respect to fallen soldiers, and remember to thank the nation’s veterans for their service to their countrymen.

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