Florida’s Purple Heart Wall given new home in Cape Coral

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Military Order of the Purple Heart donates Florida Purple Heart Wall

Cape Coral, a designated Purple Heart City, will become the new home for the Florida Purple Heart Wall. The memorial is a traveling display which chronicles the history of the award.

The impressive display also depicts – in a series of large placards – every Florida Purple Heart recipient who died in action since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the nation in 2001.

The wall will become part of the Hall of Honor display area of the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library during a formal unveiling on August 7, which is National Purple Heart Day.

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“We are honored to be the permanent home of this display that honors so many of our Florida heroes,” said Missi Lastra, SWFMM&L director of operations. “It is likely that every city in Florida has a soldier being honored on this display. This acquisition is a big win for the museum and the city, our Purple Heart City!”

The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by the regular veteran’s luncheon at 11:30 a.m. The program will be moderated by Dane Eagle, a member of the Florida House of Representatives representing the 77th District.

One of the highlights of the event will be the presentation of a Purple Heart to the nephew of a World War II soldier from Naples. He was killed in action in the Battle of the Bulge Dec 23, 1944, and never received his medal.

The original Purple Heart was designated as the Badge of Military Merit. It was established by General George Washington by order from his headquarters at Newburgh, New York, August 7, 1782. The writings of General Washington quoted in part:

“The General ever desirous to cherish a virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military Merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward”.

During the early period of World War II, the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty.