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France Recognizes 19 WWII Veterans In Fla.

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French Republican Guards hold Legion of Honor medals during a collective ceremony  (Photo credit: JACQUES BRINON/AFP/Getty Images)

French Republican Guards hold Legion of Honor medals during a collective ceremony (Photo credit: JACQUES BRINON/AFP/Getty Images)

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SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — France will recognize 19 World War II veterans during a ceremony in South Florida.

The French Consulate will award the insignia of “Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor” to the U.S. veterans who fought alongside France during the war.

The ceremony is being held Wednesday in Surfside.

A statement from the French Consulate says the Legion of Honor was created to reward eminent military and civil merits in the service of France. It’s the highest distinction that can be awarded on a French citizen or foreigner.

The Legion was founded in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte.

Notable Americans who have received the award include: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, General Douglas MacArthur, the astronomer Simon Newcomb, Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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