Georgia WWII veteran receives French Legion of Honor

THOMSON, Ga. (AP) — A 98-year-old World Battle II veteran who took half within the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge and witnessed the German give up throughout the conflict has been honored by France.

The Atlanta Journal-Structure reported that Louis Graziano was given the French Legion of Honor throughout a ceremony on Friday in Thomson, Georgia, the place he lives. The distinction has been given to many American World Battle II veterans as recognition for the position they performed in liberating France from German occupation.

Lots of of family and friends gathered for the ceremony which was held on the First United Methodist Church Household Life Heart.


“France is what it’s in the present day, a free and sovereign nation, because of the bravery of such veterans and because of America,” stated Vincent Hommeril, consul normal of France in Atlanta, in accordance with the newspaper. “You’re a true hero. Your instance is an inspiration for the longer term and your legacy offers an ethical compass for generations to come back.”

Graziano was born in 1923 to Italian immigrant dad and mom in East Aurora, New York. He was working at his sister’s magnificence parlor as a hairstylist in 1943 when he was drafted by the military. In 1944, he took half within the June 6 invasion of Normandy.

In a video interview with the American Veterans Heart and posted Youtube, Graziano described how he got here ashore within the third wave of American troops on Omaha Seaside.

“I drove a gasoline truck … onto the seashore and I jumped out of it actual fast and bought my weapons and flame thrower,” Graziano stated. He “laid down on the bottom of the seashore there with the useless troopers.”

As German gunfire rained down, he crawled over to the cliffs. Utilizing his flamethrower he shot up the cliff to take out a machine gun. After D-Day, Graziano took half in weeks of preventing throughout Normandy and months later took half within the Battle of the Bulge, the place he almost misplaced his ft to frostbite.

He later grew to become the utilities foreman for the 102nd Infantry Discipline Artillery Battalion, Particular Headquarters Command in Reims, in accordance with a weblog on the Division of Veterans Affairs web site.

As a part of his job he was answerable for all American-occupied buildings in Reims, together with the Little Pink Schoolhouse the place the Germans signed the give up paperwork. After witnessing the signing of the give up paperwork, Graziano took the Germans to a different room to satisfy Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Graziano stated throughout the video interview that he was “honored” to witness the give up, and considered the boys who had fought and died to convey concerning the victory.

Graziano additionally met his future spouse, Eula “Bobbie” Shaneyfelt, whereas he was in Reims. She was a employees sergeant within the Ladies’s Military Corps. The pair ultimately moved again to america, the place they raised 5 youngsters, and Graziano opened his personal hair parlor in Thomson. His spouse handed away in 2007. Graziano has additionally written a ebook about his experiences titled “A Patriot’s Memoirs of World Battle II.”

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