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Want to honor America’s injured heroes on Purple Heart Day? Here’s how

Purple Heart Day will be observed all across America on August 7 and residents of the town of Pahrump will be able to gather for a special Sundown Ceremony to honor the occasion, with the America Legion Post #22 set to host the event as the sun makes its descent in the sky Monday evening.

“Purple Heart Day is celebrated on August 7 and honors the brave men and women who were severely wounded or gave their life while serving our great country,” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs details. “First observed in 2014, the day gives us a chance to reflect on and honor the bravery of those who fought and risked their lives for the United States.”

Although a formal, nationwide observance is less than a decade old, the history of the Purple Heart is much deeper. The military medal was originally called the Badge of Military Merit. The first such award was bestowed by George Washington in 1782 but it fell out of use for more than 100 years before being revived in the 1930s, this time as the Purple Heart.

“As well as honoring those wounded in combat, this iteration of the Purple Heart recognized commendable action,” information from the Disabled Veterans Foundation states. “In was in 1944 that the policy was tweaked slightly and the Purple Heart was given the purpose we know it for today, specifically to honor those who have been wounded or died.”

The local Purple Heart Day Sundown Ceremony will include many of the traditional elements of a military service. Taking the lead on welcoming the crowd for the first time this year will be American Legion Post #22 Commander Melinda Mills. There will be a presentation of the colors, conducted by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, along with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.

Event Master of Ceremonies Lt. Col. Tom Waters will then introduce the various guests set to take part, including Nye County Commissioners Bruce Jabbour, Frank Carbone and Debra Strickland as well as Nevada Assemblyman Greg Hafen II. Proclamations recognizing Purple Heart Day in Pahrump, Nye County and the state of Nevada will be presented and the event will incorporate the well-known and always moving ID/Dog Tag and Wreath ceremonies. Prayers, a reading of the poem “A Soldier Died Today” and Taps will round out the ceremony.

The hour-long Purple Heart Sundown Ceremony is set for Monday, August 7 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial inside of the Chief Tecopa Cemetery, 751 East Street, next to the Pahrump Community Library.

For more information contact the American Legion at AmericanLegionPost22.PahrumpNV@outlook.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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