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May 24, 2000
S. Printed 5/24/00--H.
Read the first time February 8, 2000.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 1048), to amend Chapter 3, Title 53 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 53-3-120, so as to establish the third Saturday in February each year as Purple Heart Day, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:
JAMES H. HARRISON, for Committee.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 53 OF THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 53-3-120, SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE THIRD SATURDAY IN FEBRUARY EACH YEAR AS PURPLE HEART DAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA, TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART FOR MILITARY MERIT AND THE EXCEPTIONAL MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE RECEIVED THIS DECORATION.
Whereas, the Order of the Purple Heart for Military Merit, commonly called "The Purple Heart", is the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier; and
Whereas, General Washington conceived of and authorized this eloquent and forceful symbol of citizen responsibility in his General Orders of August 7, 1782, after being deprived by the Continental Congress of his usual means of reward for soldiers serving in the Revolutionary War; and
Whereas, the U.S. War Department revived the Purple Heart decoration on February 22, 1932, which has since been awarded to more than 800,000 men and women from all walks of life, religions, creeds, and ethnicity; and
Whereas, the Purple Heart, definitely a combat decoration, is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded; and
Whereas, the "Military Order for the Purple Heart", the only strictly combat organization in existence, was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration, and is composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients; and
Whereas, the Purple Heart was created to "cherish virtuous ambition in soldiers as well as foster and encourage every species of military merit", and to honor "not only instances of unusual gallantry but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service". Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 53 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 53-3-120. The third Saturday in February each year is designated as Purple Heart Day in South Carolina to honor the decoration itself and those men and women who have received it."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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