ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Fourteen landmarks across New York State will be illuminated on Sunday to salute Purple Heart Day.
“Today, the Purple Heart represents the immense cost and sacrifices our service members made through their military service to our State and Nation,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “New York State is eternally indebted to all who served and received the Purple Heart. Today and all days we honor and recognize their service.”
On August 7, 1782, in Newburgh, General George Washington ordered the formation of the Badge of Military Merit, the forebearer of the modern Purple Heart, the country’s first military decoration. The modern Purple Heart was eventually recognized on April 5, 1917.
“We remember these service members who served with distinction and their sacrifices to protect the freedoms and way of life we as Americans and New Yorkers are privileged to have because of their service,” said NYS Division of Veterans’ Services Director Viviana DeCohen. “It is both our privilege to commemorate their military service and our responsibility to acknowledge the physical and mental sacrifices resulting from it.”
General Douglas MacArthur was the first service member to be given the Purple Heart for serving in the Pacific during World War II. Over the years, 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded. Purple Heart Day was initiated in 2014.
“August 7 is the 240th anniversary of the creation of the Badge of Military Merit, the inspiration for the modern Purple Heart medal,” said National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Director Anita Pidala. “Please join us in observing Purple Heart Appreciation Day by remembering and giving thanks to all Purple Heart recipients to ensure that those who sacrificed for our freedom are never forgotten.”
Here are the landmarks that will be lit up in purple:
- Empire State Plaza
- Albany International Airport Gateway
- State Education Building
- One World Trade Center
- Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
- Kosciuszko Bridge
- The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
- Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
- State Fairgrounds – Main Gate & Expo Center
- Niagara Falls
- The “Franklin D. Roosevelt” Mid-Hudson Bridge
- Grand Central Terminal – Pershing Square Viaduct
- The Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
- MTA LIRR – East End Gateway at Penn Station