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Posts Tagged ‘Purple Heart’

Purple Heart

On my way to work Friday morning the car in front of me had a ‘Purple Heart’ license plate.  While waiting for a traffic light to change, I got to thinking about what the medal was awarded for and how many live recipients might exist today.

Thanks to a quick wikipedia search, I discovered that the Purple Heart is issued for “Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces”.

I don’t know how many recipient’s are still alive today, but according to The November 2008 National Geographic magazine, there has been an estimated 1,333,277 Purple Hearts issued from WWII through 8/21/08.  The number issued during WWII comprises 964,409 of this total.

It’s a melancholy thought to contemplate the millions of personal experiences these men and women endured to be awarded their Purple Heart.   The millions of stories that were told and retold with pride and honor, and those that were never spoken of again, left to fade to a distant memory, hopefully never to be revisited.

This contemplation will forever change my perspective of the subject.

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