HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks) authored House Resolution 992
, which was approved by the House in June, designating Tuesday, Aug. 7, as Purple Heart Day in Pennsylvania.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who are wounded or killed during service. It was created by Gen. George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782. Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit, it later came to be called the Purple Heart. It is the oldest military decoration in the world still in present use.
“I am hopeful the designation of Purple Heart Day will gain attention and encourage every American to pause at some point during the day on Aug. 7 and think about the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have suffered injuries or given their lives in the advancement and protection of our freedom,” said Mackenzie.
Mackenzie also noted that the Military Order of the Purple Heart – an organization established in 1932 that strives to foster an environment of goodwill among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives, and provide services to all veterans and their families – established the Purple Heart Trail in 1992. It is a symbolic trail that runs throughout all 50 states to commemorate and honor all men and women who have been wounded or killed in combat.
In Pennsylvania, the trail, known as the Purple Heart Highway, winds through 100 miles of Huntingdon, Centre, Union, Northumberland, and Montour counties on State Route 45. This route was chosen due to its proximity to many recipients of the Purple Heart residing in the Commonwealth.
“The Purple Heart Trail actually begins at a monument in Mount Vernon, VA, where George Washington is buried,” said Mackenzie. “This is yet another reminder and acknowledgement of the brave men and women who were injured or killed during their service to our country.”
Pennsylvania is one of 23 states across the country that have honored their military veterans wounded and killed in combat by proclaiming their states to be Purple Heart states.
Representative Ryan Mackenzie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman