Editorial: Say thanks for Oneida veterans

"A ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Thornberry Creek at Oneida golf course marked an opportunity to recognize the lifetime contributions of three men who served the cause of freedom nearly 70 years ago.

The French government presented its Legion of Honor award to Allen Green, Edmund Powless and Warren Skenadore, veterans of World War II who "played a decisive role to save our country," said Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, consul general of France in Chicago.

Green, 85, fought at Normandy, northern France and central Europe as a combat engineer. Powless, 86, fought as a paratrooper in several key battles in France and central Europe, losing his hearing near a mortar blast toward the end of the war, Skenadore, 85, was a medic in the 82nd Airborne Division for three years, seeing combat in France, Belgium and Germany.

"The real question is why did we wait so long to recognize them," de Boissière said. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest distinction that France can bestow. The Oneida Tribe submitted applications on behalf of five men in December 2007; these three were notified this spring.

Oneida warriors have served in every conflict the United States of America has ever faced, beginning with the Revolutionary War. The Legion of Honor ceremony gives us another opportunity to recognize their contribution and thank them for their service."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Ceremony reminds us to honor veterans (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 10/8)

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Oneida veterans receive top French honor (10/7)