Governor to Honor Maine Veterans with Silver Star Honorable Service Medal

August 3, 2012

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 3, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531 or Peter Ogden (207) 430-6034

AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, August 7, National Purple Heart Day, Governor Paul LePage will present the State of Maine Silver Star Honorable Service Medal to nearly 30 veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the State House. The Silver Star Honorable Medal is a State of Maine recognition of our combat wounded servicemen and women.

Additional ceremonies will be held Tuesday at the following locations to recognize local Purple Heart veterans.

  • Caribou – Maine Veterans Home - 2:00 PM
  • Bangor - Maine Veterans Home - 2:00 PM
  • Machias – Maine Veterans Home - 2:00 PM
  • South Paris – Maine Veterans Home - 11:00 AM
  • Scarborough – Maine Veterans Home - 10:00 AM

As a military award, the Purple Heart traces its origins to the very first military award of the United States Armed Forces. In his General Orders to the Continental Army on August 7, 1782, General George Washington established the Badge of Military Merit, directing that “whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear…over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth.”

The Purple Heart as we know it today was revived in 1932, when the United States War Department authorized a new medal to be awarded to any member of the Armed Services who has been wounded or killed in action. The first recipients of the new Purple Heart received it retroactively for their service during the First World War. Since then, the nation has awarded nearly two million Purple Hearts to combat veterans. This figure represents a staggering amount of human suffering in the service of our country, and the unparalleled selflessness of our troops in performing their duties.

“On Tuesday, I urge all Mainers to join me in saluting our thousands of Purple Heart recipients for their valor and sacrifice to include the more than 300 Mainers that have been killed in action or wounded in combat during the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Governor LePage.

These events are open to the public and all media is welcome. The publics support honoring Maine veterans has been invaluable. If there are any questions, please contact Peter Ogden, Maine Veterans’ Services (207) 430-6035.