President Trump on Tuesday commemorated Purple Heart Day, in which military members who have been injured or killed while serving the U.S. are recognized.
“Today, on the 236th anniversary of the Purple Heart, we honor the members of our Armed Forces for serving as the vanguard of American democracy and freedom around the world,” the president said in a statement.
Purple Heart Day is celebrated annually on Aug. 7. The holiday was created by George Washington in 1782 — making it America’s oldest observed holiday.
The Purple Heart is given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been wounded or killed during battle or an act of terrorism, or those who died in captivity as prisoners of war.
Those who have received the honor are recognized as part of the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” which was formed in 1932 “for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration.”
Trump on Tuesday called the merit “the most sacred, distinguished, and recognizable military medals.”
In numerous cities across the country, the state capitol buildings and other major landmarks will be bathed in purple light to commemorate the day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.