National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located along NY 300 in the Town of New Windsor, New York, less than two miles south of the Town of Newburgh line and not far from the City of Newburgh. It is a Purple Heart national registry of military personnel that were injured or killed during combat. In 1782, at his headquarters, George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit to be given to enlisted men and noncommissioned officers for meritorious action. The museum is located right next to New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, the last base of the Continental Army.
Establishment of museum
On May 12, 1995, an article appeared in a Newburgh, N.Y. newspaper, about the intent to build a Purple Heart museum in Enfield, CT. A local man, Patric Morrison wrote a letter to the editor explaining why the museum belonged in the Newburgh area.
On August 7, 1782 while at his Newburgh headquarters, Gen. George Washington created The Badge of Military Merit. This award was to recognize acts of fidelity and valor by the common soldier. After 3 enlisted men were summoned to headquarters in the spring of 1783 to receive the Badge, it fell into disuse and was forgotten about for 150 years. In 1932 it was revived, redesigned and renamed by Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur to honor the memory of George Washington on his 200th birthday. On May 28th 1932, 138 WWI veterans received the first Purple Hearts at the New Windsor Cantonment; the final encampment of the Continental Army at the end of the Revolutionary War.
Mr. Morrison's letter got the attention of Everett Smith, the newspaper's publisher. Mr. Smith along with Lt. Gen. James D. Hughes USAF (ret.), NYS Senator William Larkin and Veterans Advocate Joseph Farina formed The Genesis Group. Together they worked for eleven years to bring it to fruition. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor was dedicated with much fanfare on November 10, 2006.
On May 24, 2002, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (New York) announced that she had introduced a resolution (S. Con. Res. 113) to support efforts to create a National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
New York State committed $4.1 million toward the planning, design and development of the Hall of Honor. Other funds that supported the project included $402,000 in federal HUD/VA funds and additional donations from veterans and their families. The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), the national organization whose members are Purple Heart recipients, contributed $500,000 toward the project.
The mission of the Hall of Honor is to collect and preserve the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations in an attempt to ensure that all recipients are represented. Their stories are preserved and shared through a series of exhibits, live and videotaped interviews with veterans themselves, and the Roll of Honor, an interactive computer program detailing the stories of each individual.
- "With U.S. troops once again in harm's way in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, we are reminded of the sacrifices of previous generations of Americans who risked or gave their lives for the freedom we all enjoy today. The Purple Heart Hall of Honor would help pay tribute to those extraordinary men and women." – New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
- "Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator for New York: Clinton: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Would Pay Tribute to America's Heroes". 28 February 2008. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008.
- The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
- National Purple Heart Hall of Honor – New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- Clinton: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Would Pay Tribute to America's Heroes
- Calls Flood Purple Heart Hall of Honor
- First-ever Purple Heart memorial opens
- Guard Times newsletter, March–April 2006