On August 7, 1782, George Washington created three new military badges that would honor the service of ordinary, common soldiers. As Washington explained, his motives were to honor acts of bravery amongst his regular soldiers, because
The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all.
In his General Orders of August 7, 1782, Washington outlined the creation of both Honorary Badges of Distinction and a Badge of Military Merit, because he was "ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers. . ."
Reconstituted in 1932 on the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth, the Purple Heart now features the image of George Washington on its surface and is awarded to those wounded or killed in action while serving in the United States Armed Forces. In commemoration of those sacrifices and the award's connection to George Washington, we are honored to provide free day-time admission to all wearers of this decoration.
- Purple Heart recipients will receive free daytime admission, year round.
- This complimentary ticket is good for daytime admission and does not include separately ticketed events at Mount Vernon.
- Immediate family members (spouse, children) accompanying the Purple Heart recipient will receive daytime admission at the discounted military rate. No additional ID is required.
- To redeem your free daytime admission, simply visit the ticket window and notify Mount Vernon staff of your service award. No additional proof will be requested.
- If you’d like to make reservations for a specific time, have questions or need additional information, please contact our Call Center at 703.780.2000, and we’ll be happy to assist you.