Auburn World War II Veteran Receives Top Honor From France

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Robert Nordgren of Auburn was honored for his courage and devotion in helping to free France from Nazi Germany rule. Photo Credit: Rick Sobey

AUBURN, Mass. – A World War II veteran from Auburn received the Knight of the Legion of Honor award from France for his service in the Battle of the Bulge in the 1940s.

Robert Nordgren of Auburn was presented with the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, known as the Knight of the Legion of Honor. He received it from Consul General of France, Fabien Fieschi, during a recent ceremony in Westborough. This honor, created by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize veterans who fought for France's freedom, is the highest award given by France.

“This takes me way back,” said Nordgren, who has lived in Auburn for 35 years. “I accept this honor on behalf of my buddies who fought with me.”

In the letter that informed Nordgren of the award, written by France’s ambassador to the United States, Nordgren was praised for his courage and devotion in helping to free France from the rule of Nazi Germany.

The letter states, “This award testifies to the president of the French Republic’s high esteem for your merits and accomplishments. In particular, it is a sign of France’s infinite gratitude and appreciation for your personal and precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country during World War II.

“The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of exceptional merit. The French people will never forget your courage and your devotion to the great cause of freedom. It is a true pleasure for me to convey to you our sincere and warm congratulations.” 

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