World War II veteran King Henry Roberson Sr. is now a knight of the French Legion of Honor. The 92-year-old received France’s highest honor Friday morning during a ceremony at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.
“I really appreciate this, giving me this honor,” Roberson told 41 Action News.
World War II
Roberson was among the first American soldiers to invade the beaches of Normandy, France, 71 years ago.
“When we were going in, I want people to remember, I saw helmets floating out in the channel,” Roberson said.
Roberson dodged sniper fire and helped liberate French citizens from the Nazis.
French Counsel General
The French Counsel General of Chicago came to Warrensburg to personally honor Roberson with the Legion of Honor, an award created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.
“Mr. Roberson witnessed the worst of the conflict,” said Vincent Floreani, French Counsel General of Chicago. “For me it's very moving to see men like him that were ready to die for my country.”
Missouri legislators also presented Roberson with state resolutions to officially recognize his knighthood into the French Legion of Honor.
“King Roberson is a true American hero,” said Missouri State Rep. Denny Hoskins of Warrensburg.
Roberson’s relatives came in from across the country to attend the ceremony.
“It means a lot to us to have somebody in our family to be recognized,” said J.R. Roberson Jr., nephew of King Roberson.
The U.S. government has previously honored King Roberson with the Foreign Service Medal for Bravery. He said he plans to give his French Legion of Honor medal to his daughter.
Patrick Fazio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .