FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces August 7 Purple Heart Day in Illinois
Annual Observance Will Honor and Remember Illinois Servicemembers Wounded or Killed in Action
CHICAGO – August 5, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation establishing Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in Illinois. House Bill 1537 designates Aug. 7 as an annual day to honor and remember those in the military who have been wounded or killed in battle and honored with a Purple Heart. Since the legislation will not take effect until 2012, Governor Quinn also issued a proclamation to ensure that observance of Purple Heart Day will begin in 2011.
“Men and women of the U.S. military, especially those that sacrificed life or limb, deserve the honor and respect of all Americans,” Governor Quinn said. “I am proud to remember our Veterans by adding this ceremonial day for those who bravely served and protected the United States.”
“The Purple Heart is an honor available to all, but desired by none,” Daniel Finn said, State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still awarded to members of the United States military. It was established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. Initially called the Badge of Military Merit, the Purple Heart is a decoration awarded to any member of the Armed Services who has been wounded or killed in action. Since World War I, nearly two million Purple Hearts have been awarded to combat veterans, including at least 42,000 from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
House Bill 1537 was sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). It takes effect Jan 1.
Veterans have many benefits available to them. Illinois is
currently the only State that pays for tuition for either
or graduate study at all Illinois public universities and community colleges. Visit the following website to learn more:
Or contact the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
The State of Illinois also provides assistance to Veterans in many counties through the Veterans Assistance Commission.
The Veterans Assistance Commission is a separate County Governmental Agency that is operated by and for veterans. The Commission
provides needed services to military veterans and their families. It is designed to provide needed services to eligible veterans and families
according to written standards adopted and applied consistently by the Veterans Assistance Commission. Advocacy services are provided
to all veterans in those counties having a Veterans Assistance Commission.
The veteran MUST provide "proof" of their military discharge (DD214 or equivalent).
Examples of some of the services are:
Provides transportation for veterans to and from the VA hospitals and clinics
Provides advocacy services to veterans and their families