The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor:
5+ Things to Learn During Your Visit
Amongst the local businesses and residences of New Windsor, NY sits a prominent fixture of military history. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is the National Registry for recipients of the prestigious Purple Heart.
But it is more than just a database facility or place to store this important information. This is also a place for you to explore and learn more about the people that have served in our US Military, fought for our country and honored with a Purple Heart.
It recently underwent a complete renovation and if you have not visited in the last few years, then this is your chance to go back and see what’s new.
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A Few Things to Know before Visiting the Purple Heart Hall of Honor:
- This is the perfect place to visit if you’re a fan of military history and history, in general.
- This is a wonderful place for children to see artifacts up close.
- The Purple Heart Hall of Honor is FREE to visit and donations are always welcome
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm; Sunday: 1pm – 5pm
- Parking: Parking is FREE
What is the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor?
According to their website:
“The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor offers visitors an incredible journey through military history as well as reminders of human sacrifice and the cost of freedom.”
The Purple Heart Hall of Honor is dedicated to teaching others all about the Purple Heart and what it has meant throughout our history.
– The Welcome Corridor
The main entrance to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor displays the sculpture of the wounded soldier carried by two other soldiers.
– Where the Journey Begins
The Timeline Corridor is an important part of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
- This is where the ‘Timeline Exhibit’ is located.
- These photographs are not only informative but also moving. They showcase conflicts that took place within the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Here is where each Branch of Service is highlighted. Each branch has an artifact case.
- It showcases the path from entering the service through training and deployment.
– The Day of the Incident
The Main Exhibition Gallery’s center is where a lot of information is held.
It is breathtaking…
Glass cases around the room showcase artifacts, documents, letters and personal experiences of soldiers in war. In addition there is also a replica of a helicopter.
- The UH-1H model helicopter is an original helicopter. It was used between the years 1968 – 1970 and is configured for medical evacuation.
- In the cases there are representations of weapons and equipment used in war from the Civil War through present day.
– Care and Treatment
This area showcases images and documents of the care and treatment of our soldiers during wartime. Showing the evolution from the Civil war to present day, the artifacts are of medical equipment, medications, prosthetics and equipment used for surgeries.
– Roll of Honor
There are six computer stations where visitors can access The Purple Heart Roll of Honor.
It is the nation’s first comprehensive database of Purple Heart Recipients. See the website for the Enrollment Form.
– Road to Recovery:
It is also very important to showcase the road to recovery for many soldiers. Some is short-term recovery while others are the consequences of permanent injuries and how it affects their lives.
To better understand this reality, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor has provided visitors with “then and now” accounts from 36 Purple Heart Recipients and the experiences that they went through.
– Ultimate Sacrifice
The somber fact is that many soldiers have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. The families of these deceased heroes are called, “Gold Star Families”.
- This area of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor offers an opportunity to hear interviews with Gold Star Family Members, including readings of letters send home from the deceased soldier and other documents.
- The Serpentine Wall highlights experiences of mourning and a place to commemorate those who’ve lost their lives.
Where is the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Located?
I stumbled onto the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor while driving around New Windsor, NY.
It can be found in a discreet location off of Route 300. Located a few miles from the Newburgh town line, the Hall of Honor is located close to other area attractions:
- George Washington’s Headquarter’s in Newburgh, NY
- Knox Headquarter’s in New Windsor, NY
- The Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, NY
- The Newburgh Waterfront
- Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY
The Hall of Honor is located on the grounds of the New Windsor Cantonment. The New Windsor Cantonment is the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-1783.
374 Temple Hill Road
New Windsor, NY 12553
When was the Purple Heart Created?
What was known as the ‘Badge of Military Merit’ during the American Revolutionary War became what we now know as the ‘Purple Heart’. General George Washington wanted to recognize and honor merit, so in 1782, he established the Award.
In 1932, the Purple Heart was created in recognition of General Washington’s ideals and to honor the bicentennial of his birth.
Today the National Purple Heart continues the tradition placed by General Washington.
Who qualifies for a Purple Heart?
The criteria have changed over time but, at first, the Purple Heart would only be awarded to Army and Army Air Personnel. In 1942, the Purple Heart was allowed to then be awarded to Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Personnel.
Originally the award was given for merit, which typically meant it was for a soldier who was wounded. Now the Purple Heart is awarded to that military personnel that has been wounded, killed or died from his injuries. In other words, “Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces.”
How many Purple Hearts have been awarded?
According to the website, approximately 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded. Military personnel can be awarded only 1 Purple Heart if they meet the criteria. If that person becomes wounded again, they will be recognized for the injury, but will not receive another award.
When is National Purple Heart Day?
National Purple Heart Day is on August 7th to commemorate the day the Merit award was created on August 7, 1782, by General George Washington.
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Where can you find out about Purple Heart Recipients?
One way of searching for National Purple Heart Recipients may be done online at The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Website.
The ‘Roll of Honor’ is the database that houses the names and information regarding recipients. This list is an ongoing project. Because the recipients of the Purple Heart were/are not formally documented, this list is updated as recipients, family and friends submit the information.
As previously mentions, you can check the ‘Roll of Honor’ online or by visiting the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is a renowned New York History Museum
Visiting the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor happened for me by accident. I saw the sign on the road and was intrigued enough that I decided to go in and see what it is all about.
These impromptu adventures are what life is all about.
This trip, in particular, offered the opportunity to learn about something I really knew nothing about previously.
The information is both powerful and hit close to home. As a daughter and a wife of veterans, this visit was extra special for me.
The layout of the Hall of Honor is conducive to an afternoon of wandering and learning.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is here to educate others in what it means to be a recipient of the Purple Heart. These recipients may be family members, friends, neighbors and/or people in your community.
Until the Next Adventure…