Near Triangle in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Purple Heart Memorial
Military Order of the Purple Heart
1782 • 1932
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: Military. In addition, it is included in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the National Cemeteries series lists.
Location. 38° 32.509′ N, 77° 21.664′ W. Marker is near Triangle, Virginia, in Prince William County. Memorial is on Quantico Drive. This marker is on the Quantico National Cemetery Memorial Trail, located near the center of the cemetery grounds. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Triangle VA 22172, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sixth Marine Division (here, next to this marker); First Marine Division Association Memorial (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Purple Heart Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Commonwealth of Virginia Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Servicemen and Women Held Prisoner by Terrorists Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Edson's Raiders The ‘Striking Sixth’ Memorial (about 400 feet away); Fourth Marine Division Association Memorial (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Triangle.
More about this memorial. This marker is the first Memorial found along the Quantico National Cemetery Memorial Trail. This marker was placed in the Spring of 1990 to honor those who received wounds in battle. Links to other markers along the Memorial Trail are provided in the Related Markers section below.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
1. The significance of 1782 and 1932
In 1782, General George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit decoration, the forerunner of the modern day Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world still in use. General Washington's keen appreciation of the importance of the common soldier impelled in him the desire to recognize outstanding valor and merit. Due to funding constraints by the Continental Congress, there was little he could do to reward the individual
"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. Not only instances of unusual gallantry but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with due reward. The name and regiment of the persons so certified are to be enrolled in a Book of Merit which shall be kept in the orderly room."
The order further states: "Men who have merited this distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do. The order to be retroactive to the earliest stages of the war, and to be a permanent one."
Washington ended his order with: "The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all."
This order, lost for almost 150 years, came to light during a search for Washington's papers prior to celebrating his bicentennial. The U.S. War Department announced the new award in General Order No. 3 on February 22, 1932: "By order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart established
— Submitted November 13, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,187 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 13, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.