The Honorary Consul of France, Laurence Markarian, contacted KGVO News on Tuesday to deliver a special message of thanks to the United States of America and especially the brave soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

“As part of the French Consulate in San Francisco, we have the duty to thank all our U.S. veterans who have participated in the liberation of France,” said Markarian. “Not only that, but we have also presented quite a few Legion of Honor medals to those veterans over the past four or five years to thank them and show them our gratitude for their service.”

Markarian said growing up in France, she was looked after only by her many aunts, and explained why.

“There were no uncles, because all the uncles had been killed during the war,” she said. “My old aunts were all widows of war. Here in America we cannot connect like the people in France can connect. Unfortunately, after 75 years, these veterans that I am thanking today are getting very old, and soon there will not be any more remaining. So, we need to thank them, and by thanking them their families will remember, and we need to pass on from generation to generation, we cannot afford to forget. It is important to me, but it should be important to everyone.”

The following is the formal thank you message from the French Consulate in San Francisco:

‘Today is a special day.

Today, we are celebrating heroes whose courage, faith, and dedication contributed – 75 years ago – to defend and preserve the independence of France and to save our common values: freedom, tolerance, democracy.

I would like to extend the tribute today to all our US soldiers during WW2, especially to all of those who did not make it back to their country and families.

All these WW2 heroes did this far away from their home, from their beloved family, from their friends.

It is almost impossible for us to imagine how much courage and bravery it must have required to cross the ocean and to fight in Europe as they did.

Courage and bravery are precisely the qualities that Napoleon wanted to reward when creating the Legion of Honor in 1802.

General Eisenhower told you, “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

You ALL did your duty. You said to Eisenhower, “You can count on us.”

And you saved France and Europe from the worst misery. You saved people you did not even know.

And I am here today to tell you that the people of France have not forgotten. Their children and grand children have not forgotten. France will never forget.

We, the French people, know what we owe to the American people, to the US Army, to the US Navy, to the US Air Force, to the US Marines, to the men and women who spent days and nights in American factories and shipyards to build the most powerful military force in history, an Armada for Liberty.

 

We know what we owe to you personally.

Thanks to you, and thanks to America, people of MY generation were allowed to grow up in a FREE country.

On behalf of all French people, I want to express the deep, sincere, and eternal gratitude of the French people.

On this note, permit me to quote the French President who said:

“In France, there are many white crosses where lie some of your comrades who did not return to the United States. Know that their memory is cherished by all the people of France. The sacrifice made by you and your comrades was not in vain. If I am here today, it is because men like you did your duty.”

 

Thank you all, thank you, proud Veterans of ALL Wars.

Thank you for your service. Thank you for your dedication.’