NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Britain celebrated National Purple Heart Day on Monday by honoring community members who were recipients of the award. The municipality also officially become a Purple Heart City.

Mayor Erin Stewart (R-New Britain) joined recipients, their families and community members Monday for the ceremony.

The Purple Heart Award is given to someone wounded or killed while serving in action. It originated in 1782 under the name “Badge of Merit.” The first three recipients of the award were from Connecticut.

“Nobody wants it, nobody cares to get it, nobody volunteers for it, but when we do get it, we wear it,” said Maj. Daniel Eddinger, the national coordinator and regional commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Family members of recipients, or the recipients themselves, were presented with a service medal and certificate, while Stewart was presented with a plaque that designates New Britain as a Purple Heart City and a reserved parking sign for wounded combat veterans.

The city is now also a part of the Purple Heart Trail, which includes all cities and organizations that honor Purple Heart recipients across the country.

“The City of New Britain is beyond grateful to secure our place on the National Purple Heart Trail,” Stewart said. “This trail is to create a visual reminder to those who travel roads throughout the country that others have paid a high for their freedom to travel, to live in a free society, and I’m thrilled that New Britain is now going to be a part of that.”

A flag raising ceremony followed the event and Beehive Bridge will be lit purple Monday night.