Unknown WWII U
Unknown WWII U.S. Soldier
Receives France’s Highest Award
By Claudette Roulo, American
Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – February 11, 2014 – (AFPS)
– The sacrifice made nearly 70 years ago by the unknown U.S. service member from
World War II “helped change the tide of human history and deepen the bonds
between [France and the United States],” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said
during a ceremony today at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National
Chuck Hagel with Francois
Hollande and Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan
At the ceremony, French President Francois Hollande presented
the Legion of Honor, France’s highest military award, to the unknown service
member. The ceremony was part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of
the D-Day invasion that led to the liberation of Europe.
“While this soldier’s identity is unknown, the meaning of his
sacrifice is not. He died helping liberate a continent, building a just peace,
and upholding the right to be free,” Hagel said.
The medal presentation honored the sacrifices made by
American service members and the links between France and the United States,
Hollande said. These links were “forged from the common conception of democracy
and freedom,” he said.
“[The medal] bears testimony of a solidarity which forever
unites our two countries,” Hollande added.
French President presents the WW II Unknown with the
French Legion of Honor
“Today we honor that service and the service of all Americans
who served and died in World War II,” the defense secretary said. “And we
celebrate centuries of friendship between our nations and between our militaries.”
That friendship endures even today, Hagel noted. “Together
the United States and France are partners around the world in defending our
shared values and building a more hopeful future. We are proud to be writing the
next chapter in this long and storied friendship.”
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter @rouloafps)