Monday, August 24, 2015

3 Americans receive France's highest civilian award after thwarting a train attack

French President Francois Hollande (L) awards U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone (C) with the Legion d'Honneur (the Legion of Honour) medal as U.S. National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos applauds during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 24, 2015.
French President Francois Hollande has awarded the Legion d'Honneur to the four men, Americans Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler, and Briton Chris Norman, who overpowered a gunman on a train in France. He pinned their medals to their chests and embraced them on both cheeks, as is customary.

The mothers of Stone and Skarlatos flew to Paris and attended the ceremony.
Hollande thanked the four for their bravery and also paid homage to the 28-year-old French professor who was the first to tackle the gunman but did "not want his name to be made public," a reaction Hollande said he understood.
"We are here to honor four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives," Hollande said. "They showed what could be done in terrible circumstances.
"In the name of France, I would like to thank you for what you have done. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom.
"You averted what could have been a true carnage," Hollande continued. "You behaved like soldiers but also as men, responsible men."
French President Francois Hollande (R) awards U.S. student Anthony Sadler (C) with the Legion d'Honneur (the Legion of Honour) medal as British businessman Chris Norman looks on during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 24, 2015.REUTERS/Michel EulerHollande awarding US student Anthony Sadler with the Legion of Honor medal next to British businessman Chris Norman at the Elysée Palace on Monday.
He said he would award the medal to Mark Moogalian, the American-born French academic who is still in a hospital with gunshot wounds, as soon as possible.
Hollande thanked train staff and the emergency services for their role in responding to the emergency.
The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, and the American ambassador, Jane Hartley, also attended the ceremony along with Manuel Valls, the French prime minister.

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