Purple Heart Day on August 7 commemorated the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit. The Purple Heart honors the men and women who are of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. During the American Revolutionary War, the Badge for Military Merit decorated six known soldiers.
General George Washington created the Badge of Merit in 1782. The honor was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.” Its design included a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver. Across the face, the word Merit was embroidered in silver. While the badge symbolized the courage and devotion of an American Patriot, no one knows who designed the award.
Until Washington’s 200th birthday, the Purple Heart persisted as a Revolutionary War footnote. Through the efforts of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department created the Order of the Purple Heart. Today the medal bears a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms.
National Geographic recently estimated that nearly 1.9 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since its creation. It is the oldest U.S. military honor still bestowed upon service members today. Until 1944, the Purple Heart recognized service members’ commendable actions as well. Then in 1944, the requirements limited the award to only those wounded or killed in combat.
Post 178 is honored to have Purple Heart recipients in its ranks. If you know one, thank him for his sacrifice. Each unquestionably deserves it.
Submitted by Ed Reed
2nd Vice Commander
American Legion, Peter J Courcy Post 178
Every year, August 4 is celebrated as the U.S. Coast Guard Birthday, commemorating the military organization for its valor and discipline. Since 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard has kept the nation’s waterways safe, playing a critical role in national security.
The U.S. Coast Guard patrols our coasts for drug smugglers, human trafficking and both domestic and international terrorism. As the bad guys (and girls) have gotten savvy with technology, the Coast Guard has developed sophisticated, effective technology to combat crimes on the water and at our ports. It is a 24/7 job. If you know a Coast Guard veteran or someone on active duty, thank them for their service.
This year we celebrate 72 years of women in the armed services. On June 12, 1948, President Harry Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act allowing women to serve as regular members of the military.
On May 5, 2017, Representative Victoria Neave filed House Bill 2698, establishing Women Veterans Day. HB2698 was later incorporated into Texas Senate Bill 805 and on June 9, 2017 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott designating June 12th as Women Veterans Day.
During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
Frisco, Texas – Frisco Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8273 and the Frisco Garden Club partner to host the 2020 Memorial Day Ceremony. At 9:00 am on Monday, May 25, 2020 veterans and members of the community will join together to pay respect to America’s heroes that fought and died in battle. The ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial within Frisco Commons Park located at 8000 McKinney Rd, Frisco, TX 75034. This year’s ceremony will include a keynote address from retired “Marine One” pilot and community volunteer Lieut. Col. Richard “Dick” Peasley. In addition, the Mayor of Frisco, Jeff Cheney, the Frisco Community Band, the Frisco Chorale, and other organizations will come together to round out the program.
In this day of increased health concerns associated with COVID-19, the Frisco VFW and Garden Club request that social distancing be practiced while in attendance. In addition, face masks are encouraged to be worn and will be available on-site, while supplies last. Hand sanitation stations will also be available in order to mitigate risk. Residents with increased health risks are encouraged to enjoy the program in the comfort of their home as the ceremony will be streamed live via Facebook Live. A rebroadcast of the ceremony will be available on Facebook and YouTube.
“Although we are sensitive to the current health situation, we felt it critical to move forward with this program to honor those men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country.” commented Shenna Lawless, Commander of Frisco VFW Post 8273. “We will honor them on Memorial Day while practicing social distancing, providing disposable face masks, and sanitation stations to those in attendance.”
The City of Frisco, Frisco American Legion Post 178, Frisco Independent School District will participate or provide support to the ceremony. Frisco VFW Memorial Day Coordinator and Frisco Councilmember Tim H. Nelson added, “There is no way that we could pull off such a special event and in such a short time without the support and assistance of our partners. Two weeks ago, this event looked like it would never happen. Last week we received approval from the city of Frisco and were pulling this together in no time with all of their help.”
In this time of need, attendees are encouraged to bring in unexpired canned goods, all of which will be donated to Frisco Family Services.
Frisco American Legion distributes over 700 masks to Frisco area residents, physical therapy clinic patients, and two Non-Profits
This past week the Frisco American Legion, Peter J, Courcy, Post 178 partnered with local businesses Classique Jewelers, Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More, and EventHaus and distributed over 700 reusable cloth masks to local residents, local physical therapy clinics (to distribute to their patients in need), and two local Non-Profits, Frisco Family Services, and Frisco Fastpacs. The Legion 2nd Vice Commander, Rob Altman II, stated, “This particular service project was quite fun —we are truly blessed to live in a community, like Frisco, where the passion for service to others is so strong.”
Members of the American Legion, Peter J. Courcy, Post 178, distribute masks outside of Classique Jewelers.
2nd Vice Commander, Thor Anderson, delivers masks to Frisco Family Services.
2nd Vice Commander, Thor Anderson, delivers masks to Frisco Fastpacks