George Washington instituted the original Purple Heart award on August 7, 1782 to reward troops for “unusual gallantry” and “extraordinary fidelity and essential service.” The award was a purple cloth heart edged in silver braid, and was to be worn over the left breast of the uniform. Only three of these awards are known to have been issued, of which only two are known to exist today.
And in those 230 years, there have been 1.6 million Purple Hearts awarded. And woven into that number are 1.6 million stories. Stories of bravery, of gallantry, of extraordinary fidelity, and of fear. They are stories few have heard. Stories shared only between members of this most elite fraternity. Stories of how All Gave Some, and Some Gave All. Members of this fraternity, who know that the Purple Award is not won, but earned. No member of our military wakes each morning with the intent of earning a Purple Heart, for only fate can dictate that. But what these brave men and women have done each and every morning is to answer the call of a proud nation. They are our defenders of freedom!
And today, midway between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we remember – we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – those who Gave All – to protect the sacred freedoms we all enjoy. The Freedom of speech, the freedom of choice, and yes the freedom to assemble. And we remember those 1.6 million stories. Stories authored by the men and women on THIS wall.
Some Gave All.
We also remember the NEW stories – those stories authored by those who are being added to this wall today. Stories with places like Kabul, and Baghdad, and Kandahar as backdrops. These authors, who have so painstakingly penned their masterpieces in the name of freedom, will now have their names etched in this sacred granite.
We recognize the sacrifices made by the 1.6 million men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart. This nation owes you a debt, which can never be repaid.
All Gave Some.
The Intellective (c) 2012