The 2022 National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Program honors the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, an institution that commemorates U.S. servicemembers who have been wounded or killed by enemy action. Public Law 116-247 directs the U.S. Mint to produce $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half dollar clad coins as part of the program.
The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed by enemy action. Since World War I, it has been awarded to an estimated 1.8 million servicemen and servicewomen.
The Purple Heart’s history reaches back to the American Revolution. In 1782, General George Washington gave orders establishing the Badge of Military Merit to honor merit among soldiers in the Continental Army. Washington stated that the award was to be a permanent one, but once the Revolution ended, it was all but forgotten until the 20th century. General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing suggested a need for a merit award in 1918, but it wasn’t until 1932 that the modern Purple Heart was created in recognition of Washington’s ideals and for the bicentennial of his birth.
On May 28, 1932, 136 World War I veterans were conferred their Purple Hearts at Temple Hill, in New Windsor, New York. Temple Hill was the site of the New Windsor Cantonment, which was the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-1783.
Originally the Purple Heart was awarded for merit. With the creation of the Legion of Merit in 1942, awarding the Purple Heart for merit was discontinued.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in 2006 to share the stories of courage and sacrifice of Purple Heart recipients. It is located at the site of the New Windsor Cantonment.
About the Coins
Coin prices include surcharges of $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar, and $5 for each clad half dollar. The Public Law authorizes the Mint to pay the surcharges to the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, Inc., to support its mission and for capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.
The National Purple Heart Honor Mission is a non-profit organization which supports a variety of programs to promote the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, pay tribute to Purple Heart recipients, and educate Americans about combat-wounded veterans.