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.
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 Timeline Corridor
The Timeline Corridor is an important part of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
- This is where the ‘Photographic History Timeline’ is located.
- These photographs are not only informative but also moving. They showcase war from World War I through the war in Afghanistan.
- Here is where each Branch of Service is highlighted. Each branch has an artifact case.
- There is an Interactive Touch Screen in this area that showcases information about the Purple Heart.
- Another area offers more information regarding the location and its place in history
- Lastly, a silent video plays that showcases recipients of the Purple Heart
Main Exhibition Gallery
The Main Exhibition Gallery’s center is the home of the statute of the wounded soldier. This statue showcases the sacrifices our servicemen and servicewoman make during war. It shows to follow servicemen carrying the wounded soldier.
It is breathtaking…
Glass cases around the room showcase artifacts of wartime and how they have evolved over time.
The theme throughout the galley is “Every Purple Heart has a story to tell”.
- There are six computer station at the far end of the gallery 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.
- Two Oral History Stations are located in the Gallery.
- You can search by name, branch of service, conflict or theme.(See their website for specifics) to hear the experiences of Purple Heart recipients.
- There is a theater space in the main gallery which runs a 10-minute video.
- In this video you can hear first hand accounts from 9 recipients of the Purple Heart. It’s amazing to hear their stories and see the footage.
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.
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 has 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 those 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 personal 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.
Where can you find out about Purple Heart Recipients?
One way of searching for National Purple Heart Recipients may be done with 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.
If you love Military History, you should pay a visit to the West Point Museum.
Related Readings about the Purple Heart
If you’d like to read a first account book from a Purple Heart Recipient, “Purple Hearts & Wounded Spirits” is a recommended read.
You can purchase a copy from Amazon (Affiliate link). This is a definite to add to my Personal Reading List.
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.
- 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
For Additional & Updated Information, Visit Their:
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
374 Temple Hill Road
New Windsor, NY 12553