Tennessee WWII veterans presented French Legion of Honor - WSMV Channel 4

Tennessee WWII veterans presented French Legion of Honor

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The country of France has honored nine brave Tennesseans who helped liberate France from German occupation during World War II.

The veterans were presented the French Legion of Honor on Tuesday for their heroic efforts as young men so many decades ago.

The ceremony at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel included a presentation from the French Consul General and the playing of the French national anthem before each accepted his medal.

Ivy Agee, of Gordonsville, TN, said he prayed his way through the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach.

"I said, 'If God is with me, who can be against me?' And I went all the way through there and got one little scratch," Agee said.

Being high school graduates back then, most had never left their county, let alone for war.

"I spent the whole time in the service as a private, and I didn't mind it," said veteran Forde Callis, of Ridgetop, who fought in the south of France.

His wife sat in the front row for Tuesday's ceremony. Newlyweds then, they've now been married 71 years, and she watched with love and pride this Red Ribbon day.

"It's just a feeling that you get all over, just a chill that you get for an award like this," Callis said.

All of these men were American stars back then and still are today.

Agee, who is 90 years old, only wished that his mother could have been there to see him receive his medal, but she passed away Sunday, just two days ago, at the age of 106.

The other men honored for their service included Bernard Meier, of Smyrna; James Springer, of Columbia; William Moon, of Chattanooga; Herman Finnell, of Harrison; Kenneth Kittinger, of Madison; Kenneth Bush, of Nashville; and James Massengale, of Hixson.

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