Home                |                FAQ's                |                Contact Us
The Military Order of the Purple Heart

MOPH's Purple Heart Trail Program

"As you travel the Purple Heart Trails, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices that have been paid for our nation’s freedom."

Try our NEW interactive State map featuring information about ALL the trails located throughout this great land of ours!

Did you know? The MOPH has begun tracking the many Purple Heart Cities, Counties, and States.

Would you like a list of all the Cities, Counties, and States. There's even a raceway that's taken on the Purple Heart name!

How to get your town, city or county designated a Purple Heart Locality - Click on the How-To-Guide Below
-How To Guide-

What is the Purple Heart?

The Purple Heart is specifically a combat decoration and it is our nation’s oldest military medal. It was first created by General George Washington in 1782 and was known as the Badge of Military Merit. It was first awarded to three soldiers in Newburgh, N.Y. The Badge of Military Merit was made of cloth and it is the predecessor of the Purple Heart medal.
The current Purple Heart medal was developed by General Douglas MacArthur in 1932. The new design was created by Miss Elisabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General. The revived form is of metal, instead of perishable cloth, made in the shape of a rich purple heart bordered with gold, with a bust of Washington in the center and the Washington coat-of-arms at the top.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. The heritage it represents is sacred to those who understand the price paid to wear it.

What is the Purple Heart Trail?

The purpose of the Purple Heart Trail is to create a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways, bridges, and other monuments that give tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.
The Purple Heart Trail accomplishes this honorary goal by creating a visual reminder to those who use the road system that others have paid a high price for their freedom to travel and live in a free society. Signs placed at various locations annotate those roads and highways where legislation has been passed to designate parts of the national road system as The Purple Heart Trail. The actual format and design of the signs varies from state to state. There are currently designated sections in 45 states as well as Guam.

What is the History of the Purple Heart Trail?

The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The original idea for the Purple Heart Trail came from Patriot Frank J. Kuhn, Jr., a member of Chapter 1732 in Virginia. His idea was carried to the national level by Patriot George Gallagher, a member of Virginia Chapter 353. Patriot Gallagher was a former National Adjutant. Patriot Gallagher introduced Patriot Kuhn’s Purple Heart Trail idea as a resolution during the 1992 MOPH National Convention held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The resolution was approved and the MOPH National Purple Heart Trail began.

The Purple Heart Trail originates at a monument in Mt Vernon, Virginia. Mt Vernon is the burial location of George Washington. This monument marks the origin of the Purple Heart Trail.
The design on this monument was created by Mickey Gallagher, the wife of George Gallagher. Her initials (MG) are indicated on the lower right corner as you view the monument.
Web site design by Americaneagle.com                                                                                                                                                                                                           Email the Webmaster