US WWII Veterans received the French Legion of Honor on Veterans Day 2017
On November 11, 6 US WWII Veterans received the medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor from Consul General of France, Alexis ANDRES on the South steps of the Texas Capitol: Robert FISHER, Ernest LACROIX, Franklin LUTTRELL, Vergil RODGERS, Bernardino VILLASEÑOR, Norris WADDILL.
Other recipients who are unable to attend the ceremony: Arthur DINKINS, Eugene DWORACZYK, and Willie SPARKS
This special ceremony was the highlight of Austin’s Veterans Day Celebration. It took place after the parade, on the South steps of the Texas Capitol. Several hundred people attended the ceremony including many local officials and numerous members of the US armed forces. Austin Children’s Choir performed the American and French National anthems. Students from Austin International School assisted Consul General Andres to present the medals to the Veterans.
The history of the Legion of Honor stems back to 1802, after all French orders of Chivalry were abolished during the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then the First Consul of the First French Republic, instituted a new order as a way to recognize merit: the National Order of the Legion of Honor, which was meant to reward civilians and soldiers who had achieved great things in the service of France. Since its creation, the award has never been abolished, and has remained the highest, most prestigious, decoration in France. This order is awarded solely as a recognition of merit or bravery, being open to men and women of all ranks and professions.