Canadian veterans given French Legion of Honour in emotional ceremony
MONTREAL—Seventeen Second World War veterans in Montreal have been awarded the French Legion of Honour, including one who will turn 100 next year.
An emotional ceremony featuring the 17 was held Thursday in the presence of Philippe Zeller, the French ambassador to Canada, and deputy veterans affairs minister Walt Natynczyk.
The oldest of the honourees was 99-year-old John Stuart Hermon, whose accomplishments include running the Boston Marathon at the age of 78.
Zeller said the award is an expression of France’s wish to honour men who helped liberate the country during the war.
The 17 live at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital for veterans in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. They are among some 600 Canadian veterans receiving the award this year.
The Legion of Honour was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.
“The whole of France is grateful toward these brave veterans who, 70 years ago, fought on the beaches of Normandy, Provence or in the skies of France,” Zeller said.
“These men are the last of the young heroes who put their lives on hold to fight a ruthless war against barbarism and Nazism.”
TORONTO STAR | NEWS | CANADA