WWII Vets Honored with Legion of Honor Award

legion awardCENTERVILLE – Edouard Roche was 12 years old on D-Day, the day the Americans liberated the French region of Normandy from the Germans during World War II. He remembers where he was–in his hometown of Avignon–and what he was feeling: great joy.

That is why he and his wife, Françoise Roche, have held a luncheon every year for the past 20 years honoring veterans of the war. Their first luncheon was on the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

This year at the luncheon Fabien Fieschi, Consul General of France in Boston, will attend the luncheon to honor six veterans of the war with the Legion of Honor Medal.

The award, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is France’s highest, and pays tribute to those who have provided exceptional services to France.

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Led by Allied forces, the liberation of the northern French region of Normandy would mark the decisive turn toward the end of WWII.

Three of the recipients took part in D-Day, Tom Carver formerly of Cotuit, Milton Soares of East Falmouth, and Victor Theodos of Centerville. Three other recipients participated in other battles on French territory, Carl Johnstone of Orleans, Philip McNamara of Centerville, and Richard D. Sylver of East Dennis.

Also attending the award ceremony will be another D-Day veteran from Cape Cod, William Bruce who received the award earlier in Florida, as well as the widows of nine D-Day veterans representing their husbands.