Pay tribute to the oldest military decoration in the U.S. at the home of its founder, George Washington.

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Add to Calendar 08/10/2019 10:30:00 12/31/1969 America/Rio_Branco Purple Heart Commemoration

Pay tribute to the oldest military decoration in the U.S. at the home of its founder, George Washington.

George Washington's Mount Vernon George Washington's Mount Vernon MM/DD/YYYY 15

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Included with General Admission

Purple Heart recipients receive free admission 365 days a year.

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Join Mount Vernon and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the estate's official National Purple Heart Day Ceremony on the East Lawn overlooking the Potomac River at 10:30AM (weather permitting). Enjoy a musical prelude before the ceremony commences. The ceremony includes the presentation of the colors, a musical performance by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and remarks by a Mount Vernon representative.

Near the entrance of the estate, visit the Purple Heart Memorial, the first stop on the Purple Heart Trail.

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Featured Speaker: Captain Matthew Kutilek

Captain Matthew J. Kutilek grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He received an undergraduate degree in history and a graduate degree in social science from The Citadel. Captain Kutilek deployed to Iraq in 2004, where he led his platoon in hundreds of combat missions, and he deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. On March 5, 2010, while leading a patrol, Captain Kutilek was shot in the leg by a high-velocity bullet fired by an enemy sniper and suffered life-threatening injuries, and he could have lost his leg.

Captain Kutilek recovered through the help of riding a bike, building up his endurance from five minutes on a stationary bike to racing 100 miles. He embarked on a journey as an endurance bicyclist to raise money and give back to organizations that help families like his.

Captain Kutilek’s decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, Navy Achievement Medal with combat V, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat V and the Bronze Star with Combat V.


Purple Heart award recipients share their remembrances and reflect upon General George Washington's act that created the predecessor to this most respected of military awards.

Military Badges

On August 7, 1782, George Washington created three new military badges that would honor the service of ordinary, common soldiers. In these General Orders, Washington outlined the creation of the Badge of Military Merit, the precursor to the Purple Heart.

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