Monthly Archives: February 2019

For love of country

 

harry

SSG Harry Moroncelli

This week I was invited to the French Foreign Legion Medal Ceremony for  six US Veterans in Windsor, Colorado.

Let me tell you, it was one of the most profoundly moving moments I have ever been a part of.

LT Leila Morrison, LT Armand Sedgeley, 2LT William (Bill) Powell, SSG Philip Daily, SSG Harry Moroncelli and  (posthumously) CPT Joseph Grahm  were awarded the Knight -or Chevalier- medal for their outstanding service and dedication during WW2.

After the bagpipes and the colors were presented, both National Anthems were played. No words to the music, but it was quickly apparent which veterans in the audience had served in France as they all saluted the flag and sung the anthem in French.  When the Star Spangled Banner began playing, it started as a few bars hummed and them IMG_5357everyone sang with passion. There were tears rolling down cheeks- it was that emotional.

While I was observing the people around me, the line from that Abba song flashed through my head “I can see it in your eyes- how proud you were to fight for freedom in this land”.

Each and everyone of the medal recipients was extremely humble and truly don’t think they did anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done.

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LT Leila Morrison

Solely by chance I had met Leila a few weeks prior to this.  What a story! Leila graduated nursing school at 22 and immediately joined the Army as a nurse and was sent to field hospitals on the front lines. She was at both Normandy and Battle of the Bulge caring for our wounded warriors. After that she was on hand at the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. After that she was returned stateside and married her sweetheart when the war was over.

OH! The questions I wanted to ask! Don’t get me wrong, I loved that she shared parts of her story with me, but there was so much more I wanted to know! It simply wasn’t the place to go asking a zillion questions.

The room was packed with friends and family and many, many local servicemen from all branches. LTC Huffman gave background on the recipients and really brought the stories to life with photos and antidotes. The Hon Christophe Lemoine from the French Consulate gave a very moving speech that also had people wiping tears away.

God bless these men and women who have given us so much.

PS- here’s a story the Greeley Tribune did on the award ceremony with links to the recipients personal stories:

~Katy~

 

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