While serving as the Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army, future first president of the United States George Washington created the Purple Heart medal by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on this day in 1782, originally naming the military decoration as the Badge of Military Merit. Awarded for veterans that are "wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces”, the Purple Heart medal is oldest military award still given to active members, lasting for more than two centuries and making it one of the highest honors that military personnel can receive.
"The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." —
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States