The City of Paintsville proclaimed Tuesday, Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day.

The Purple Heart, first called the Badge of Military Merit when it was first issued by George Washington on August 7, 1782, is bestowed upon members of the U.S. military who are wounded or killed while serving their country. This week marked the 236th anniversary of the decoration’s first issuance. 

According to the proclamation read by Mayor Bill Mike Runyon,  the Purple Heart is the oldest U.S. military commendation.

“There have been many former Paintsville residents who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives to the cause of freedom, and there are numerous combat-wounded veterans who currently reside within the city,” Runyon said in reading the proclamation. “Be it proclaimed by the City of Paintsville, Kentucky, that honor and gratitude be bestowed upon the Purple Heart recipients of the City of Paintsville.”

The City of Paintsville has two special reserved parking spaces on Court Street downtown: one for military veterans, and one specifically for recipients of the Purple Heart. Volunteers Stephanie Rodriguez, Lisa Howard and Alyssa Poston spent Sunday repainting the Purple Heart parking spot in preparation of Tuesday’s proclamation.

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