By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Cumming named Purple Heart city
Honored for support of local veterans
Purple-heart WEB

CUMMING -- Cumming earned a new distinction recognizing the city’s support of veterans.

The Cumming City Council voted 5-0 during a recent meeting to approve a proclamation designating Forsyth’s only municipality as a Purple Heart City.

Joe LaBranche of the Military Order of the Purple Heart told councilmembers the designation is more about the people in the town than any criteria.

“There are no standards, there are no requirements, and it’s just an expression of appreciation,” LaBranche said. “It’s more about the people living here. It’s also about those passing through — the fact that we are a city who acknowledges the Purple Heart.”

Purple Heart medals are given to soldiers who were wounded or killed while serving.

“Modesty or a desire to forget causes many military members who have received this honor to avoid talking about it, but it is still important for them to be recognized,” LaBranche said.

He was joined by several members of local veterans’ groups and said the decoration has honored soldiers since the founding of the country.

“Cumming had the opportunity to join other cities across the nation and recognize the oldest military decoration in support of its military veteran population,” he said. “The Purple Heart originally came on as a Badge of Merit established by George Washington.”

Before reading the proclamation, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt took an opportunity to thank those who served.

“We are thankful for our veterans and appreciate what they’ve done for not only us here, but those across the country,” Gravitt said. “Obviously, we wouldn’t have the freedom that we have today without the men and women who fought the wars for our freedoms.”

LaBranche said he hopes the city’s distinction stresses the importance of the decoration on the local population.

“At one time I believe just about everybody in the United States knew a Purple Heart recipient, but many of our young are oblivious to its meaning,” he said. “This proclamation may help them learn the meaning of the Purple Heart.”