Atlanta’s City Hall is going purple.

Aug. 7 after 8 p.m., the Atlanta City Hall tower at 68 Mitchell St. SW will be illuminated purple in honor of National Purple Heart Day, observed every year on Aug. 7. The day recognizes those in the military who have been wounded or killed and awarded the prestigious medal.

“The freedom and inalienable rights we cherish as American citizens do not exist by happenstance – they have always been fought for,” council President Felicia Moore said in a news release. “On this National Purple Heart Day, we honor the courageous Purple Heart recipients who have made immeasurable sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms. To you and your families, we say thank you.”

Atlanta joined more than 1,400 cities nationwide when it became a Purple Heart City Jan. 5, 2015 through a council proclamation. The designation affirms that Atlanta will forever honor the members of our armed forces and acknowledge their sacrifices to defend our freedom.

“On behalf of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Atlanta Chapter 465, I wish to express to the Atlanta Veterans Council, the city of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport our deepest appreciation for all that everyone does for Purple Heart recipients, and all veterans groups,” Lou Zayas, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Atlanta Chapter 465, said in a news release. “Your support is outstanding and gives us a deep sense of gratitude. Thank you all.”

The city of Sandy Springs, which is also a Purple Heart City, honored its Purple Heart recipients with a proclamation at its Aug. 6 council meeting.

The Purple Heart is a combat decoration and the nation’s oldest military medal. It was first created by Gen. George Washington in 1782, then known as the Badge of Military Merit. More than 1.8 million Purple Heart medals have been awarded.

“While Atlanta and our nation are indebted to all our veterans, those who have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal have marked paid to that blank check they once wrote in favor of Uncle Sam by having been wounded in combat,” Chris Balch, chair of the City of Atlanta Commission of Veterans Affairs, said in a news release. “The Purple Heart is our nation’s oldest decoration and it is fitting that the city honors her combat-wounded veterans each year by turning City Hall purple.”

Members of Chapter 465 and the commission will gather on the City Hall steps at 8 p.m. for a photo opportunity.

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