Thursday, February 20, 2013
Nearly seventy years after his service in D-Day, and a week after his trip to the White House, a community honored its local hero at home on Thursday.
Congressman Robert Hurt pinned the guest of honor, former Army Air Corps lieutenant Arthur Ordel, with the Legion of Honor.
Other military and local leaders attended and spoke to honor Ordel's service. Virginia National Guard Command Sergeant Major Dennis A. Green read a letter and gave Ordel a coin from Major General Daniel L. Long, Adjutant General of Virginia. Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security and retired Admiral John Harvey read a letter from Governor McAuliffe and presented him with a flag flown over the State House.
"It's nice being, having people like this say things to you," said Ordel. "It'll probably wear off, but it's exhilarating!"
French president François Hollande pinnned Ordel last Tuesday in Arlington along with six other World War II veterans to thank them for helping to liberate France from Nazi Germany's occupation. In doing so, Orland was made a knight of the Legion of Honor, a degree of France's highest award.
"It was interesting. I was kissed by the president of France. I had a French kiss!" said Ordel, laughing.
The 92-year-old wore his own bomber jacket from World War II.
The American Legion Post 74 helped organized the night at their post in Shadwell as they did exactly two years ago for another local veteran, Charles "Chubby" Proffitt, also a recipient of the medal for his World War II service.