By Biodun Busari
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday awarded medals to five World War II veterans at the French Embassy in Washington on Wednesday.
The award, the Legion of Honour – the highest honour in France were conferred on 98-year-old Samuel Davis and 96-year-old Carl Felton.
According to reports, the duo with ‘Legion d’Honneur’ from Frederick County were declared knights.
The honour given to the five Americans was for their roles in liberating France during World War II which was from 1 September 1939 to 2 September 1945.
Macron, who was on his first state visit to the US under Joe Biden’s administration, praised each veteran for their individual service and pinned their medals to their suit coats.
He then embraced each of them and kissed them on both cheeks.
During a speech before he presented the medals to each veteran, Macron referred to the men as “soldiers of freedom who left everything behind, risked everything, to liberate France and the world.”
The Legion of Honour — or, Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur, as it’s officially known — was created by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize the achievements of both military service members and civilians.
Each year, about 2,200 French people and 300 foreigners are inducted into the order, which has nearly 80,000 members in total, according to the Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor.
To join the legion, Felton and Davis — who live in Frederick and Adamstown, respectively — each had to provide documentation of their military service to prove that they served in France during WWII and helped liberate the country.