Chilliwack veterans earn France’s top honour

Walter Georgeson (left) and Len Fitzgerald were presented the  Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur – France’s highest military honour - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Walter Georgeson (left) and Len Fitzgerald were presented the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur – France’s highest military honour
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Two Chilliwack veterans were among the recipients of France’s highest military honour last week for their part in the invasion of Normandy.

Walter Georgeson and Len Fitzgerald were presented the  Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur by Jean-Christope Fleury, Consul-General of France on behalf of the president of France.

In recognition of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the government of France is bestowing the award on up to 390 Canadian veterans, 66 of whom are from B.C.

“It is nearly impossible to imagine what these veterans went through during the Second World War,” said  Fleury. “I am privileged and humbled to honour these men and women for their contributions.”

June 6, 2014, marks 70 years since allied troops landed along 80 kilometres of beaches in Normandy in 1944. Sir Winston Churchill called Operation Overlord, “Undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place. It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.”

Said Fleury: “The President and people of France are pleased to recognize the bravery and commitment of Canada’s D-Day veterans by bestowing France’s highest award, the Legion d’honneur. D-Day marked the start of the liberation of France and the rest of Europe, and we are forever grateful to all those Canadian and Allied forces who sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom.”

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