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The Purple Heart

The Badge of Military Merit circa 1782230 years ago George Washington established the Badge of Military Merit as a way to honor merit, particularly among the enlisted soldiers. The recipient of the Badge "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." According to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, the award was "open only to enlisted men and the names of the recipients were to have been kept in a "Book of Merit", which has never been recovered."

Although Washington most likely intended for the Badge to be a permanent distinction for the military, it wasn't until 1932 in "recognition of Washington's ideals and for the bicentennial of his birth" that:

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