LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur was presented to three World War II veterans of the 95th Infantry Division.
The veterans were awarded the medals at the 95th Division Legacy Association’s 70th Annual Reunion ceremony Saturday night in Lawton. The medals were given to the veterans for helping liberate the city of Metz in France.
There were eight WWII veterans in attendance, and three of them were presented with the award.
One of the recipients, Ceo Bauer, said the honor felt, in a way, like a rite of passage... graduation.
“He said, ‘are you going to graduation?’ I thought a minute, and I said, ‘well, yeah, I guess it is. It’s my graduation to receive the military award from the nation of France.’ It is a high honor and it certainly, for me, will be shortly, will be the supreme moment of my veterans career," said Bauer.
“Of all the duties I have as Honorary Consulate, this is the most significant for me," said Grant Moak, French Honorary Consulate for Oklahoma. "This is the one that means the most. The stories that I’ve heard. The people that I’ve met. It’s made me appreciate so much what that generation has done for us, and we’re the beneficiaries of what the greatest generation accomplished.”
Every five years, the veterans are invited to return to the city of Metz to be recognized for their service and for helping liberate the country.
Bauer said he will be going to France this year for the 75th anniversary. He also said that he will be taking as many family members with him as he can.