Celebrate Military History Month with a Visit to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the United States Military Academy at West Point in Orange County, N.Y.

Embark on an incredible journey through military history at sites throughout Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. (May 1, 2019) – Concluding with Memorial Day, May is observed nationwide as Military History Month. What better way to pay homage to the region’s important role in U.S. history than with a visit to Orange County, N.Y.’s National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, located in New Windsor, or the United States Military Academy at West Point (West Point).

“Orange County features a trail of historic sites and notable attractions honoring past and present members of the United States’ military,” said Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana. “We invite visitors and locals alike to visit these incredible sites and embark on a walking or guided tour to learn more about the county’s deep military history.”

The Badge of Military Merit, the forerunner of the Purple Heart, was instituted by President George Washington while he was headquartered in Newburgh, N.Y. One of the first medals he awarded is now on display at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. The 7,500-square-foot facility is home to exhibits that chronicle a photographic journey from World War 1 through the sacrifices of our countrymen in the 20th and 21st centuries; the Roll of Honor, a comprehensive database of Purple Heart recipients; oral history stations from Purple Heart recipients themselves; and more.

Washington also considered the location of what is now known as the United States Military Academy at West Point as the most important strategic position in America during the Revolutionary War. Visitors to the campus can enjoy guided tours of the property, board a ferry to Constitution Island, or explore the West Point Museum. Since 1854, the museum has served as the official national repository of war trophies, as well as thousands of additional military artifacts. The museum offers a taste of more than 60,000 Army historical artifacts that inspire and educate the U.S. Corps of Cadets on a daily basis.

Just two cadets comprised West Point’s first graduating class in 1802, a stark difference from the nearly 1,200 men and women that comprise the incoming class at the academy each year. With more than 60,000 graduates, West Point’s notable alumni include Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Buzz Aldrin.

To find a full list of activities, attractions, and lodging visit the Orange County Tourism website at orangetourism.org. There, visitors can explore the county’s selection of charming B&Bs, select hotels, and acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants to enhance their upcoming getaway to Orange County, N.Y.

About Orange County Tourism

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging, and events can be found at www.OrangeTourism.org. Like Orange County Tourism on Facebook for the latest news on local happenings. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide, e-mail tourism@orangecountygov.com or call 845-615-3860.