By Malavika Jagannathan
Declining numbers of World War II veterans mean fewer are eligible for the French Legion of Honor, the highest award France can bestow on either a civilian or military member. Allen Green, Edmund Powless and Warren Skenadore are the first Oneida veterans to receive this honor.
They received the award Tuesday from Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, consul general of France in Chicago, in front of a cheering crowd of about 100 at Thornberry Creek at Oneida golf course.
France recognizes veterans, especially those who fought at the Normandy invasion and other decisive battles in the country, in an effort to acknowledge their contributions to the country's freedom, Main de Boissière said.
"They played a decisive role to save our country and preserve our freedom for sixty plus years," Main de Boissière said. "The real question is why did we wait so long to recognize them."