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First Honors: Origins of the Purple Heart

In the Fall of 1781, Sgt. Churchill led a raid against Fort Slongo, NY, and sucessfully destroyed artillery and munitions. For this act of singular leadership CHurchill was presented with a heart shaped purple badge embroidered with the word "merit". Only three of these original awards have a record of being given. On February 22, 1932, the bicentennial of George Washington's birth, the Badge of Military Merit was redesigned and re-issued as the Purple Heart, as we know it today.
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