Sandy Springs was declared a “Purple Heart Medal City” at a June 7 City Council ceremony attended by a group of military veterans decorated with the Purple Heart.

Sandy Spring City Council members John Paulson (far left) and Tibby DeJulio (center, holding proclamation), celebrate the “Purple Heart Medal City” designation with local veterans at the June 7 City Council meeting. (Photo John Ruch)

“These are people who bled. Not just served, but bled,” said City Council member Tibby DeJulio, who received the Purple Heart, among other decorations, during Army service in the Vietnam war.

The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration recognizing those wounded or killed during service. The Military Order of the Purple Heart, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization, has a program encouraging cities to brand themselves with signage and ceremonies declaring “Purple Heart City” status to recognize veterans, especially those who received the Purple Heart.

Sandy Springs will make Aug. 7 an annual “Purple Heart Day” and install road signs about the “Purple Heart City” status.

Before the council ceremony, the local veterans had dinner with Mayor Rusty Paul and council members, including City Council member John Paulson, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam who sought the Purple Heart City designation.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.