Original article by the Recorder http://www.recorder.ca/2014/06/13/france-honours-city-veteran
World War Two veteran Donn Fowler
in his military “Mufti” dress with his new
National Order of the Legion of Honour
, Knight Degree which he received in
France during the Battle of Normandy
During his most recent visit to France for Battle of Normandy commemorations, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen and Second World War veteran Donn Fowler received the highest distinction that can be bestowed by France.
Fowler was among 90 recipients, including nine Canadians, to receive the National Order of the Legion of Honour. Fowler received the Chevalier (Knight degree) of the Legion of Honour at a ceremony in Caen. Only those veterans who served in the Battle of Normandy from June 6 to August 31, 1944 were eligible for a Legion of Honour medal.
Fowler, who enlisted in the war effort at the age of 14 in 1940, arrived at one of the Canadian landing zones at Juno Beach with a group of reinforcements with the First Battalion of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders on June 12.
Established by Napoleon for excellent civilian or military conduct in 1802, the Legion of Honour is rarely bestowed upon foreigners. Prior to this year only 20 Canadians had received the honour, including the First World War flying ace, and Victoria Cross recipient, William ‘Billy Bishop.
The new honour for Fowler compliments an array of medals to adorn his familiar Metis buckskin he wears to honour his heritage. Yet after all the recognition, Fowler still feels strongly about contributions made by others who would not receive the same considerations.
“This is a token,” he said of the medal, “to me, of remembrance to all the guys who paid the supreme sacrifice.”