“God Bless America” and “Vive la France” were two phrases heard several times in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol July 30 as five Connecticut World War II veterans were presented with the La Legion D’Honneur, or French Legion of Honor, medal, the highest distinction conferred in France to a French citizen or foreigner.
The ceremony, organized by Hartford HealthCare at Home’s Veteran Liaison Wayne Rioux and attended by more than 100 people, honored Robert Freeburger, John Horan, Fran King, Ben Cooper and Elise Schultz-Thomson for their service in fighting in the European Theater.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here today and express the gratitude of the French people for these men and women who risked their lives to help liberate my country and the world,” said French Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre, who presented the medals to the veterans. “For your service, France will forever be grateful.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont was also on hand at the event to offer his thanks saying that the five honorees were an example of the long and storied history that the United States and France share as allies.
“We’re here to celebrate a great partnership that goes back centuries represented by these amazing individuals who remind us of the principles we hold dear.”
“I am honored to be here on behalf of Hartford HealthCare to say thank you to our veterans,” said Laurie St. John, Vice President of Hartford HealthCare at Home. “Merci beaucoup!”
For more information about Hartford HealthCare at Home’s veteran’s meetings, please contact Wayne Rioux at 860.573.7024
Hartford HealthCare at Home is a community-based home health care agency across most of Connecticut, which enables individuals to achieve maximum independence, to participate in their own plan of care, and to live with dignity while receiving quality care in their own homes. For more information, call 1.800.HOMECARE