The Purple Heart has the historical distinction of being the first American decoration awarded the common soldier and the oldest military decoration in the world in present use.
Rooted in America's struggle for independence, the Purple Heart decoration was created by General George Washington. As established in his General Orders of August 7, 1782, the decoration was to have "the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding" and be awarded for "instances of unusual gallantry, extraordinary fidelity and essential service".
After America's war for independence, the Purple Heart was lost to history until 1931 when a search of General Washington's historical papers directed by Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur rediscovered the Purple Heart decoration.
With its rediscovery, the Army reinstated and redesigned the Purple Heart decoration on February 22, 1932 as a combat award exclusively presented to members of the Armed Forces of the United States wounded by an enemy instrument of war and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those killed in action or died of wounds received in action in commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of George Washington's birth
Since its reinstatement in 1932, over 1.7 million service members have been awarded the Purple Heart. Today, there are more than 500,000 living Purple Heart recipients, with approximately 150 residing in Citrus County.
Designation as a Purple Heart School District is reserved for those districts that have exhibited noteworthy patriotic support of our nation's armed forces and its veterans. Citrus County School district has the distinct honor of being the first school district in the Nation designated a Purple Hear District.
We proudly support our veterans and commemorate the anniversary of Gen. George Washington's birth (February 22).