Seven WWII Veterans Receive French Legion of Honor [fr]
The French consul general presented the Legion of Honor, France’s highest recognition of military service, to seven WWII veterans during a ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol building on September 25, 2017.
Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive the distinction. Recipients are designated by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Consul General Louis de Corail presented the award to U.S. veterans Donald Seesenguth, Alvin Werbalowsky, Salvatore Pipitone, Bernard Parker and Joseph Benator.
Tim Estes, the son of the late Bruce Estees, accepted the medal on behalf of his father, and Mary Mercker, the wife of the late Edward Mercker, accepted the medal on behalf of her husband.
The recipients were from the states of Georgia and Tennessee in the southeast United States.
"We the French, we will never forget what you did to restore our freedom. And today, we also remember the ultimate sacrifice of so many of your comrades who rest on French soil," de Corail told the veterans.
Some of America’s best known recipients of the Legion of Honor are President Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Douglas MacArthur, and even, as an institution, the United States Military Academy at West Point.
For a slideshow of the Legion of Honor ceremony, click on the photo below: