Seventeen Canadian veterans decorated with the French Legion of Honour

Seventeen Second World War veterans in Montreal were awarded the French Legion of Honour on Thursday, including one who will turn 100 next year.

MONTREAL — Seventeen Second World War veterans in Montreal were awarded the French Legion of Honour on Thursday, including one who will turn 100 next year.

An emotional ceremony featuring the 17 was held in the presence of Philippe Zeller, the French ambassador to Canada, and deputy veterans affairs minister Walt Natynczyk.

Zeller described the award as an expression of France’s wish to honour men who helped liberate the country during the war.

The oldest of the honorees was 99-year-old John Stuart Hermon, whose accomplishments include running the Boston Marathon at the age of 78.

For Hermon, the ceremony was a very touching experience.

“It makes one think how precious families and relatives are,” the former captain in the 7th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, said in an interview.

“We should all be very grateful for the efforts that have been made by all of the veterans who are not here and that their families will eventually appreciate just what sacrifices their relatives have made in the battle of Europe.”

Hermon recalled that his job was to drop bombs on the enemy and avoid getting killed.

“In the moment of battle, your mind is concentrated on doing a job, the same as it is in civilian life,” he said. “There’s no free pass and there’s no turning back.”

The 17 live at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital for veterans in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. They are among some 600 Canadian veterans receiving the award this year.

The Legion of Honour was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

“The whole of France is grateful toward these brave veterans who, 70 years ago, fought on the beaches of Normandy, Provence or in the skies of France,” Zeller said.

“These men are the last of the young heroes who put their lives on hold to fight a ruthless war against barbarism and Nazism.”

Just Posted

Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe public not at risk

Royal close shave: Prince William opts for dramatic buzz cut

LONDON — The hair on the heir is no longer quite so… Continue reading

Border wall models thwart US commandos in tests

SAN DIEGO — Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President… Continue reading

Man charged in presumed deaths of two missing Toronto men set to appear in court

TORONTO — A man charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths… Continue reading

Nova Scotia ‘seriously considering’ banning plastic bags: environment minister

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s environment minister says he’s ”seriously considering” enacting a… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month