MS veterans receive French Legion of Honor - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

MS veterans receive French Legion of Honor

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Decades after World War II, the French government is thanking Mississippi veterans for their roles in liberating the French people. The medal symbolizes France's highest honor.

"When this war broke out we had a world to save. You see some people here today that helped save the world. This is history. This is great history," said medal recipient Joseph Johnson.

The years have weakened the men physically, but their spirits are strong and grateful. Most of the men had never met before the ceremony, but they all fought for the same cause.

"We were just like brothers in combat and it was a wonderful honor, and it was a wonderful honor to sit here with all the veterans," Bill Correll said.

Once again, they stood proudly, one of them even wearing his uniform. A few had mixed emotions about getting the recognition.

"I don't feel like I deserve it because in our 394th bomb group, moving across France, 3,000 of our men lost their lives during that time. It's through the grace of God that I'm here," Edsol Wells said.

Gerald Campbell will never get to wear his medal. He passed away in May, but his grandson accepted it on his grandfather's behalf.

"He never really talked about it, being in the service, so just hearing what he did was a great honor," explained Ian Campbell.

French Consul General Denis Barbet presented the veterans with their medals.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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