OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — More than 150,000 soldiers from the United States, the UK, and Canada, stormed the beaches of Normandy in WWII. That event lead to the deaths of many of those troops. One man who survived is a vet from Omaha, as he was given a prestigious award for his efforts.
"It was difficult for our boat to get into shore, and when it did we jumped out into water up to our chest," said Edward Morrissette who was one of many who stormed the beach in Normandy. "The firing from the shore was so bad, there was concrete block on the shore, and I dived behind that and that's the only thing that saved me."
Thanks to his efforts during that time, Morrissette was honored with the French Legion of Honor from the France government. That distinction came in the form of the French Legion of Honor. "A gentleman like Mr. Morrissette, he was 17, 18 years old and he risked everything for American's freedom but also for France's freedom," said Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General for France.
Lacroix says France, as we all know it, would be a lot different had the outcome of WWII gone differently. "We are grateful, the French people are grateful, and our gratitude is forever."
Morrissette says the award is special because it's not just for him, but for the countless others who didn't make it off the beach. "This one to me is for all of the guys, not just for me."
Morrissette, 96, who still lives in Omaha says he enjoys going out to breakfast with his friends and watching the show Blue Bloods.