France recognizes 19 WWII veterans in Fla.

Published On: Dec 19 2012 12:10:08 PM EST
SURFSIDE, Fla. -

France will recognize 19 World War II veterans during a ceremony in South Florida.

The French Consulate will award the insignia of "Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor" to the U.S. veterans who fought alongside France during the war.

The ceremony is being held Wednesday in Surfside.

A statement from the French Consulate says the Legion of Honor was created to reward eminent military and civil merits in the service of France. It's the highest distinction that can be awarded on a French citizen or foreigner.

The Legion was founded in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Notable Americans who have received the award include: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, General Douglas MacArthur, the astronomer Simon Newcomb, Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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