TANGIPAHOA PARISH – On Friday, Ponchatoula made history by being officially dedicated as Louisiana’s first Purple Heart City.
The designation recognizes Ponchatoula residents who have earned the Purple Heart medal in military service.
The Purple Heart medal is given to military servicemen and women who were wounded in battle or to family of those killed in action.
Purple Heart recipient Bert Cusimano, of Ponchatoula, spoke at the dedication ceremony on Friday morning.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser presented a document to Mayor Bob Zabbia on behalf of Gov. John Bel Edwards, formally proclaiming the state’s first Purple Heart City.
Metal signs declaring the designation will be presented for placement at each of the city’s entrances.
Among the invited dignitaries are Edwards, state Secretary of Veteran Affairs Joey Strickland, Ponchatoula City Council members, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller, 7th Ward Marshal Pat Farris, Police Chief Bry Layrisson, state Rep. Bill Wheat, Congressman Steve Scalise and US Sen. Bill Cassidy.
Fellow local Purple Heart recipient Ron Cerisi of Ponchatoula also attended the event.