To the French, the veterans are heroes who helped free France from the Germans, said Jean-Baptiste de Boissiere, the consul general of the French consulate in Chicago, who presented the medals. “You saved us and we will not forget,” he said.
Beautifully said, Monsieur.
And before Flocon beats me to it, I want to point some historical background out from this short article.
Here's the remote history:
Napoleon Bonaparte established the Legion of Honour in 1802 as the highest award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France.
Now, the more recent history:
In 2004, French President Jacques Chirac opened the door for veterans to apply for the honor in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.
I have been very hard on M. Chirac, in many of my postings, over the last three years here. But do not think that this good deed will go unnoticed and unthanked.
In my view, a big "merci beaucoup" is in order here. It first goes to M. Chirac for making this possible. Not only that, I think another goes to the French government and the French people, as well. I know these men must have felt good to receive this award, in the twilight of their lives. Suffice it to say, you have made some old guys smile inside.
Vive le France.