French Legion of Honor

Rocco at the Normandy American Cemetery in 2004 wearing the French Legion of Honor.

On June 6, 2004, Rocco was invited to Normandy, France for D-Day’s 60th Anniversary.  He was was presented the Legion of Honor Award from the government of France, the country’s highest military honor.  The award recognizes the massive allied forces who invaded France to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny (CNN, 2004).  The French government honored the veterans for helping to liberate Europe from Nazi control on June 6, 1944. The 99 Americans were given the Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) medal during a weekend of ceremonies commemorating the event (Queens Chronicle, 2004).

President Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and the heads of other nations attended. Under a brilliant sky pierced repeatedly by fighter jets flying in formation, France put on a moving tribute to the Allied veterans.

The ceremony was held on a perch overlooking the English Channel, where Allied forces established a temporary port after the first landings on Normandy’s beaches. (USA Today, 2004)

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