“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abingdon in Washington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Purple Heart

Purple Heart Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 6, 2022
1. Purple Heart Marker
The Purple Heart is an American military decoration awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the Armed Forces wounded in combat, or posthumously to the next of kin for those killed or who die of wounds received in action.

The Purple Heart is one of the oldest military decorations in the world in present use. It is the first American award made available to the common soldier. It was initially created by General George Washington during the American Revolution. On August 7, 1782, General Washington issued an order as follows: "The General, ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers as well as foster and encourage every species of military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding." General Washington also stated, "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow
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" The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers and fell into disuse following the War of independence. Although never abolished, the award of the medal was not proposed again officially until after World War I.

The Purple Heart as we know it today was reestablished in 1932 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal which became known as the Purple Heart. The award is a heart-shaped medal within a gold border containing a profile of General George Washington. Above the heart appears a shield of the coat of arms of Washington (a white shield with two red bars and three red stars) between sprays of green leaves. The reverse consists of a raised bronze heart with the words FOR MILITARY MERIT below the coat of arms. As with other combat medals, multiple awards of the Purple Heart are denoted by stars by the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and by oak leaf clusters by the Army and Air Force.
Erected 2009 by Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Abingdon/Washington County, Virginia, Inc.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & Patriotism
Marker detail: Purple Heart image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Purple Heart
The photographs of the Purple Heart medal and ribbon shown here are of the actual medal and ribbon awarded to Sgt. First Class Jim Beaver of Washington County, VA during the Korean War. Sgt. Beaver was severely wounded on three separate occasions and each time returned to combat until he was captured by the Chinese who held him as a POW for over two years. Sgt. Beaver is one of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been wounded or killed serving their country.
War, KoreanWar, US RevolutionaryWar, World I. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is August 7, 1782.
Location. 36° 42.277′ N, 81° 58.516′ W. Marker is in Abingdon, Virginia, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Lieutenant Billy Webb Avenue, 0.1 miles north of Cook Street. Marker is located along the Path of Honor in Veterans Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 425 Lieutenant Billy Webb Avenue, Abingdon VA 24210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lewis & Clark Expedition (here, next to this marker); War of 1812 (here, next to this marker); Star-Spangled Banner (here, next to this marker); Pvt. Michael Widener (a few steps from this marker); Spirit of 1776 (a few steps from this marker); Overmountain Men (a few steps from this marker); U.S.-Mexican War (within shouting distance of this marker); Medal of Honor (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abingdon.
Marker detail: Original Badge of Military Merit image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Original Badge of Military Merit

Also see . . .
1. The History of the Purple Heart.
Apart from the Medal of Honor, one of the most recognizable awards in the US Armed Forces is the Purple Heart. “For military merit and for wounds received in action,” reads the citation issued to over 1 million men and women who served during World War II. The Purple Heart is the oldest active military award in the United States and, like the country it represents, has gone through many changes.
(Submitted on November 13, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. James H. Beaver.
(September 7, 1932 - February 3, 2017)
Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Army having served in the Korean Conflict during which time he earned three Purple Hearts, the Silver Star, and spent over two years as a Prisoner of War. After his military service, Jim became a minister and served as Bishop of the Nortonsville, Franklin, Trigg Street, South Boston, Penn Forest, and Bastion Churches of God. In recent years Jim attended First Christian Church in Abingdon.
(Submitted on November 13, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Purple Heart Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 6, 2022
4. Purple Heart Marker
(looking west through Veterans Memorial Park)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 13, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 23, 2024