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Ceremony to Include Purple Heart Recipients on August 11

– George Washington’s Mount Vernon and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart will commemorate National Purple Heart Day on August 11. National Purple Heart Day is recognized on August 7. Mount Vernon will honor Purple Heart recipients on Saturday, August 11, so that recipients from across the country can attend this special event. The ceremony will take place on Mount Vernon’s east lawn overlooking the Potomac River at 10:30 a.m. 

In 1782, General George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit. The badge, made of purple silk and silver thread, was fashioned into the shape of a heart. Washington established a policy of formal recognition of the heroic contributions of regular soldiers, rather than just solely members of the officer class. In 1932, this award was renewed and known as the Purple Heart, which includes George Washington’s profile.

All Purple Heart recipients receive free daytime admission to Mount Vernon every day of the year. Beginning August 11, Purple Heart recipients will receive a commemorative ticket upon their visit to Mount Vernon. For more details, please visit  

A special wreath will be on view at the Purple Heart Memorial, located outside of the entrance to the estate. The Purple Heart Memorial at Mount Vernon serves at the starting point for the Purple Heart Trail.

During the ceremony on August 11, Mount Vernon’s George Washington will deliver remarks and acclaimed American military history author Patrick K. O'Donnell will provide the keynote address. O'Donnell has written ten books on military history. As an unpaid, volunteer combat historian, he spent three months in Iraq in uniform, conducting oral histories of U.S. troops in battle. On a later tour to Iraq he served as a war correspondent for Men’s Journal and Fox News.

This event is included in general admission to the estate. For event more information, visit


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