The Purple Heart: By The Numbers
August 6, 2014
This is Part III in a series on the legacy of the Purple Heart. The medal, originally called the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington on August 7, 1782. The date is now recognized annually as National Purple Heart Day.
3: The number of medals presented by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit, the forebear of the Purple Heart. They were the only three ever awarded.
9: The number of Purple Hearts earned by Sgt. Albert L. Ireland, the most by a single individual.
1.7 million: The estimated number of Purple Hearts awarded since 1932.
100+: The estimated number of Purple Hearts awarded to civilians. Legislation passed in 1997 amended the criteria for eligibility, precluding civilians from receiving the medal.
57,000: The estimated number of service men and women to receive the award since September 11, 2001.