France recognizes Colorado WWII vets with award created in 1802

The country of France wanted to show that even 73 years later it is grateful for the soldiers who help to liberate France from Nazi Germany.

WINDSOR - Although it's been more than 70 years, the French government still wants to recognize Colorado veterans who fought in World War II.

"There is still a strong bond between the United States and France and gratitude for what happened," Jeffrey RIchards, Honorary French Counsel, said.

Richards presented the French Legion of Honor Medal to Captain Lee Bashor, Army Air Corps; Command Sgt. Samuel Lessor, Army; Sgt. LeMoyne Anderson, Army; Private First Class Richard Mann, Army; Private Joe Hoberman, Army. 

"It was an honor that I accepted it on behalf of those that never made it home," Hoberman said.

Richards says the medal is given to thank these veterans for helping to liberate France from Nazi Germany.

"I landed in southern France," Anderson said. "As we moved up as soldiers in the combat zone, we liberated several cities."

The Colorado National Guard hosted the awards ceremony at its facility in Windsor. This is the highest honor that France bestows upon foreigners.

"A lot of them gave their lives for it," Mann said. "Some of them didn't last five minutes on the beach."

The French Legion of Honor medal was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

"And, the fact that they're still looking for people to honor, that's incredible," Bashor said.

Even 73 years later, Lesser says he's honored to accept the medal.

"Never too late for anything," Lesser said. "I'd say it's about time."

Richards would agree.

"It's never too late to say thank you," Richards said.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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