Twenty-one American veterans who contributed to the liberation of France in the battle of Normandy were recognized in South Florida Thursday by the French government, which awarded them its highest decoration – the Legion of Honor.
One by one, the brave soldiers stood up to accept France’s highest honor. Some had brothers on either side to help them.
“It was a big honor. I really didn’t expect it because to many of my contemporaries are gone,” said recipient Lisa Weiss. “I’m the only one left.”
At 92, Weiss was the oldest person in the room. But the days of war are still front of mind in her memory.
“I interviewed the soldiers when they came in from the front, and we would send their stories back to their hometown newspaper,” she said.
Weiss said she was one of the first women to serve in the war.
“After the war ended in Europe, I was in General Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims, France – the little red schoolhouse where the peace treaty was signed,” she said.
The French-American alliance has a rich history, and is still remembered today.
“France will never forget, and especially the French military, will never forget what these gentlemen have done for our country,” Martin said.