Purple Heart Memorial, Wilson
The Purple Heart Memorial is a red and pink granite table stone style marker with a lectern top on a single base. On the front left half of the marker a Purple Heart Medal has been incised around which appear the words: 1782 MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART 1932. The base inscription is from Shakespeare’s “Henry V” to his “Band of Brothers.”
Images: View of the Wilson County Veterans Memorial and the Purple Heart marker |
View of the courthouse building and memorials
Lectern top: DEDICATED TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN / WOUNDED IN ALL OUR WARS Front, right half: MY STONE IS RED / FOR THE BLOOD THEY SHED / THE MEDAL I BEAR / IS MY COUNTRY’S WAY / TO SHOW THEY CARE. / IF I COULD BE SEEN / BY ALL MANKIND / MAYBE PEACE WILL / COME IN MY LIFETIME
Front, left half around Purple Heart: [Vertical] COMBAT / [Horizontal] VETERANS / [Vertical] WOUNDED
Front bottom: ERECTED BY THE / MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART CHAPTER 639
Base: WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW, WE BAND OF BROTHERS / FOR HE TO-DAY THAT SHEDS HIS BLOOD WITH ME / SHALL BE MY BROTHER
35.725340 , -77.910460 View in Geobrowse
“History of the Medal,” Military Order of the Purple Heart, purpleheart.org, (accessed November 29, 2020) Link
"Combat Wounded Veterans (Wilson County)," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed 24, 2021) Link
“George Washington Creates the Purple Heart,” History.com, (accessed December 4, 2016) Link
“News & Gatherings,” Purple Heart Magazine (Springfield, VA), March/April 2013, p. 34/35, (accessed June 6, 2021) Link
Red and Pink Granite
Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 639
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States 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. It is specifically a combat decoration but is also awarded to mistreated prisoners of war. Purple Heart Day is recognized on August 7 which is the day in 1782 that General George Washington created the "Badge for Military Merit" that evolved into the Purple Heart.
The organization known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart," was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of “combat” veterans. Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapters across the county are placing memorial to honor those wounded in battle. Almost identical memorials have been placed in North Carolina in Raleigh, at Camp Lejeune, and Mint Hill.
The Purple Heart marker is located in front of and to the left of the Wilson County Courthouse within a few feet of the Wilson County Veterans Memorial. The Wilson County Memorial Fountain stands on the right (southeast) corner if facing the building, at the corner of Nash St. and Goldsboro St. The Wilson County Courthouse (115 Nash St. East, Wilson, NC) is within the Old Wilson Historic District. There are many small businesses and office buildings in the area.
There is a large brick plaza in front of the courthouse building. The memorial complex stands to the left of this plaza surrounded by bushes and shady trees.