6 D-Day veterans awarded Legion of Honor by French consul general

Veterans given France's highest decoration

MIAMI – Six World War II veterans were awarded the Legion of Honor by the French Consul General Philippe Letrilliart during a ceremony Friday at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University.

The men fought alongside the French on Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, against German troops. That battle is known as D-Day.
Letrilliart spoke during the event, and expressed his appreciation to the veterans. He presented the veterans with their medal, which is considered the highest decoration in France.
The country has regularly given the honor to American veterans who fought alongside them.
"It’s a very small token of appreciation for what they did," Letrilliart said. "When they were young, they went to the shores of France, combated. Many young soldiers died there."
The ceremony gave several students, who are part of the university’s French study aboard program, the opportunity to speak to the veterans about their experience.
"We went to Normandy. We saw these places that they are talking about," Stephanie Sepulveda said.
"Just hearing it from them is incredibly humbling."
After presenting the veterans the medalsLetrilliart turned his message to those students, calling on them to promise to never forget the sacrifices the men made.
"I am very glad to see that these students are interested and will remember what happened, and the men who sacrificed their lives, to participate in the liberation," said Walter Lambert, one of the honored veterans. 

About the Author:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.