LOS ANGELES –
Again in 1943, Richard Melton remembers graduating highschool on Friday and getting shipped off to the military on Monday.
He was stationed in France throughout WWII preventing to liberate the nation. On Tuesday, the French thanked him with their most prestigious medal, the legion of honor.
“It is fairly an honor. Reality is, it is an actual good wanting little medal. I can not consider it. Once I begin speaking about WWII, it is prefer it occurred yesterday. It was so totally different than civilian life,” stated Melton.
Employees Sergeant Laurence Stevens by no means set foot in France, however flew 5 miles above the nation on D-Day serving as a tail-gunner on a B-17.
“It makes me really feel terrific. The truth that they cared. Properly, all of us cared at the moment,” stated Stevens.
Ten WWII veterans from Southern California acquired the medal throughout a ceremony at Los Angeles’s Nationwide Cemetery Tuesday.
“It is essential for the French to acknowledge what they did and their sacrifice and to reward them immediately with a legion of honor,” stated Christophe Lemoine, the Consul Basic of France based mostly in Los Angeles.
Richard Melton’s daughter, Leigh Hancock, got here all the best way from Virginia for the ceremony. She stated the expertise gave which means to her father’s warfare tales.
“If you hear all of those tales, it appears very summary. It is a very long time in the past. You’ll be able to’t fairly image it. However, on this context the place you are feeling the gratitude of the French individuals and the historical past of the French alliance. It’s extremely actual and really significant and fairly one thing to expertise,” stated Hancock.
In the event you or a liked one served in France throughout WWII, you are eligible for the award and may attain out to the French consulate for extra info. They are often reached at (310) 235-3200.