Washington, DC - On Purple Heart Day, we honor our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen who have endured immense suffering to earn the Purple Heart.  We also pay tribute to the families whose loved ones have been awarded the Purple Heart through their ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation.

Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, General George Washington established the Badge of Military Merit.  Washington designed the original badge by fashioning royal purple cloth into the shape of a heart.  In the early 20th century, General Douglas MacArthur established the Purple Heart both to commemorate Washington and to revive his tradition of giving a badge to our Nation’s men and women in the military who, in battle, gave an uncommon measure of devotion.  Though the medal’s name has evolved since the Revolutionary War, its legacy of heroism remains steadfast.  A Purple Heart on the chest of an American continues to be a symbol of the solemn price of our Nation’s liberty and peace.

Melania joins me in honoring all of our country’s Purple Heart recipients, their loved ones, and our Gold Star Families for their immeasurable sacrifice.  These American patriots represent the unyielding and unmatched strength and determination of the United States Armed Forces, and we are forever grateful for their devotion to duty and love of country.