US WWII Veterans received the French Legion of Honor on Independence Day 2016
19 US WWII Veterans received the medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor from the hands of Consul General of France in Houston, Sujiro SEAM onboard the Battleship Texas: William Baker, Harding Boeker, Grayson Cocharo, Arthur Collins, Everett Cost, Jack Dodson, James Doyle, Lewis Gammon, Birney Havey, Jerry Jones Jr., John Lemons, Fred Machol, Johnnie Marino, Elmer Michel, Robert Reese, Jack Rude, Jack Thomas, Melton Wright and Charles Wheelwright.
Nineteen World War II Veterans received the medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor aboard the battleship Texas on July 04, 2016. During the ceremony, The Honorable Sujiro Seam, Consul General of France, presented Veterans with France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’Honneur, for their role in liberating France during the Second World War.
The ceremony commenced with the color guard by Sea Cadets, followed by national anthems of U.S and France. Remarks were presented by, the Honorable Louis Rigby, Mayor of La Porte thanking the veterans for their courageous efforts.
French Consul General Sujiro Seam honored the Veterans with the medals and praised them for their demonstrated devotion to freedom and democracy. He further added, “Today’s ceremony is one of many, recognizing the contribution of our American allies during WWII and I have to say: I am really proud that my country decided, after all these years, to present US veterans with the French Legion of Honor. Not surprisingly, a very significant number of these veterans were identified here, in Texas; because Texas has a long tradition of fighting for freedom and standing against tyranny; because this State paid a very heavy toll, during WWII; but, also, because the roots of French – Texan friendship go a long way back in history.”
Attending were Rear Adm. Robert L. Greene and local officials including Jay Guerrero, U.S. Senator Cornyn’s representative and Louis Rigby, Mayor of La Porte.
The ceremony ended with “God Bless America” performed by the Sons of the American Revolution aboard the Battleship Texas, that took part in some of the most significant naval battles of the 20th century during both world wars. Now docked along the Houston Ship Channel, she serves as a memorial to those turbulent times.