Mercyhurst University and Erie Insurance hosted a celebration for former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Ridge received an award in Washington D.C. for his contributions to U.S. Intelligence and National Security.

Here is more on this local celebration.

Mercyhurst University unveiled a glass enclosed display on Wednesday night that highlighted moments from Tom Ridge’s career.

Community leaders gathered at Mercyhurst University to acknowledge the work from Ridge.

In May roughly 600 members of the intelligence community gathered in Washington D.C. where Ridge was named the 37th recipient of the William Oliver Baker Award.

This award recognizes his decade long career in public service locally, throughout the commonwealth, and nationally.

Ridge served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Army where he was awarded a bronze star.

He was later named the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by George W. Bush.

“Standing up an agency that could protect the nation after the horrible events of 9/11 really, really made him a top contender for this award that recognizes individuals, luminaries who have really given their life to the protection of our nation,” said Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg, President of INSA.

Unfortunately, Governor Ridge was unable to attend the ceremony due to a lingering knee injury deciding to flare up. So his wife Michele and daughter Leslie were in attendance to accept the award.

“He had a secret service and a CIA briefing every morning in the president’s office in the Oval Office, and I think he was very aware of the many threats. There were a lot of threats that no one knows were ever made. We do live in a dangerous world now and so we need to be unified. We need to work together. It always works better when people are working together. I think his one friend said putting country ahead of party,” “He had a secret service and a CIA briefing every morning in the president’s office in the Oval Office, and I think he was very aware of the many threats. There were a lot of threats that no one knows were ever made,” said Michele Ridge, Former First Lady of Pennsylvania.

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Many local leaders at the event said that Erie is lucky to have had someone with as much local and national pride as Governor Ridge.