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Two East TN Veterans receive high honor from French government

9:06 AM, Jan 13, 2012   |    comments
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The French Government honored two East Tennessee military Veterans with one of their country's highest awards on Thursday.

Fifteen World War II Veterans from around the Southeast received the Legion of Honor at the French Consulate in Atlanta. East Tennessee Army Veteran John Payne and Army Air Corps Veteran Harold Davis were awarded the silver medal for their supreme courage and efforts to liberate France. 

"It means...its overwhelming almost..never thought this would come...never gave it a thought," said WWII Veteran Harold Davis.

"It's an honor...and I'm grateful for it...I don't even know if I deserve it," said WWII Veteran John Payne. 

"My grandfather...on my mother's side was killed by a German in World War II and I relate very much to this part of our history that's why I am so moved to meet the American Veterans who liberated us in 1944," said French Counsul General Pascal Le Deunff.

The award itself dates back to the time of Napoleon in the early 1800's. Since then hundreds of US Veterans have earned that honor. 

Next week, we'll take a close look at the actions of Mr. Davis and Mr. Payne in our Service in Sacrifice series.

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