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Gov. Whitmer to Honor Bravery in Service and Proclaim August 7 as Purple Heart Day

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has recognized August 7, 2021, as Purple Heart Day to remember and pay honor to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces that were wounded or killed in enemy action while serving our country. 

"On Purple Heart Day, we honor the bravery and patriotism displayed by those who willingly sacrificed their own well-being for the cause of freedom and democracy," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "We owe our wounded and fallen men and women in uniform our profound and eternal gratitude." 

"The oldest U.S. military decoration bestows honor upon our bravest heroes who have shed blood in defense of the nation," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "We acknowledge their sacrifice and tremendous heroism on behalf of this nation, its people and our cherished freedoms."   

The Purple Heart was originally introduced in 1782 by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit and was awarded to soldiers in the Continental Army who fought during the American Revolution. It was not until the bicentennial of his birth in 1932 that the award became known as the Purple Heart. The first service member to receive the modern-day Purple Heart was Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur for his service in the Pacific theater during World War II. 

"It's important that we pause to remember and honor these brave service members who were combat wounded or have made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives on the front lines," said Zaneta Adams, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). "The MVAA proudly serves those who have borne the burden of battle and we encourage veterans and their families to utilize the benefits they rightfully earned and deserve."



WHEREAS, our nation and its principles have been defended throughout history by brave and patriotic men and women who willingly sacrificed their own well-being for the cause of freedom and democracy; and,

WHEREAS, President George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit to honor brave military personnel; and,

WHEREAS, in 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth, the Badge of Military Merit was renamed the Purple Heart; and,

WHEREAS, today the Purple Heart is awarded to honor the Combat Wounded Veterans of this country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home; and,

WHEREAS, the seventh day of August is recognized as a day to pay tribute to those who hold the distinction of having been awarded the Purple Heart; and,

WHEREAS, our Veterans have earned profound and eternal gratitude from all of the people of Michigan for their willingness to risk life and limb for the sake of this nation, its people, and our cherished freedoms;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 7, 2021 as Purple Heart Day in Michigan.

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