The Honor Roll

On May 17 of this year, these fifteen World War II veterans were awarded the French Legion of Honor medal for their service in France. They were cited for their courage and their contributions toward the French liberation. Third from the left, in the light blue jacket, is my Dad.

Words like “awe” and “gratitude” cannot begin to describe what I feel toward these people, whose sacrifices secured the unprecedented safety, prosperity and freedom that have graced my life and so many others of my generation. In the world they created, those sacrifices have become (for people like me) unimaginable.

These are the giants who cleared my path through life. I’m glad to see them honored, though no honor can ever be enough.


In the front row: Harold Cohen, Arthur Jaffe, Norman Landsburg, Frank Kogut, Kenneth Kravis, Edward Oleksak, Pat Milanese.

In the back row: Donald Marks, Joe Pangerl, Alfred Morfee, George Miliband, Gael de Maisonneuve (Consul General), Anne-Laure Chavy (Assistant to the Consul General), Bernard Goldman, James Griffis, Don Shopiro.

Not pictured: Evan Phillips


6 Responses to “The Honor Roll”

  1. 1 1 Dick White

    Professor Landsburg:

    After reading this post I noticed there were no Replies. And that is how it should be; it speaks for itself. Please delete this note as well.

  2. 2 2 Dan Hill

    So what’s the story behind them only being honored now?

  3. 3 3 David Wallin

    War movies always seem to get wrong one thing that always amazes me. Those who served were so young.

  4. 4 4 Dad

    To answer Dan Hill’s question: George Miliband, a resident in the community where we live was a young teenager who lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation. He was returning home and saw his family (his parents and two younger sisters) lined up in the street with other neighbors, surrounded by Nazi soldiers. He ran off, faced many difficulties and has been eternally grateful to the American G.I.’s for the liberation of France. He feels he owes them his life. Unfortunately, his entire family perished. This resident contacted the French Embassy and started the ball rolling to award the French Legion of Honor medal to those who served in France.

  5. 5 5 Dad

    P.S. from Mom: When the lovely lady (pictured in the back row) pinned the medal on each recipient she also gave the traditional French kiss (one on each cheek). Dad told me that’s not the French kiss he remembers.

  6. 6 6 Babinich

    God bless those men.

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