Monday morning, Boise celebrated Purple Heart recognition day with a special ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol.

Since 1932, the Purple Heart has been awarded to American military members that have been wounded or killed in action.

Monday, state representatives, the Idaho military order of the purple heart, military veterans, and their families honored Idahoans that have received the purple heart honor over the years.

Since the award's inception, about 4,000 Idahoans have received a Purple Heart.

National Purple Heart Day is celebrated every August 7. The day encourages everyone to pay their respects to fallen military service members, to listen to the stories of these veterans, and to thank them for their service to the nation.

Idaho Vietnam Veteran Dave Havsgaard says honoring veterans always means a lot.

"It's really important," Havsgaard said. "I was down here a couple of years ago, and it's kind of nice when a little kid comes up and pulls on your leg and says 'thank you.' It just kind of reassures us that our youth today are being brought up in the right way."

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the United States still in current use.

Gen. George Washington awarded the first purple-colored heart-shaped badges, then referred to as the Badge for Military Merit, to soldiers who fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.