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France honors Colorado veterans of WWII

Posted at 4:46 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 18:46:54-05
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Colorado WWII veterans received the Legion of Honor from the French government (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WINDSOR – World War II veterans from Colorado received the Légion d’Honneur, or Legion of Honor, from the French government on Monday.

Five veterans were honored by Christophe Lemoine, consulate of France based in Los Angeles, at the Good Samaritan Society’s senior living facility in Windsor according to the Coloradoan.

Lemoine expressed great gratitude on behalf of his nation to the Colorado veterans and their families who helped liberate France during the war more than 70 years later.

Honorees included 2nd Lt. William Powell of Fort Collins, who was a B-24 pilot; Staff Sgt. Harry Maroncelli of Fort Collins, who was a ball turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress; Staff Sgt. Philip Daily of Brighton, who was a tailgunner in a B-17; Lt. Leila Morrison of Windsor, who was a combat nurse with the 118th Evacuation Hospital; and Lt. Armand Sedgeley of Lakewood, who was a B-17 Flying Fortress bombardier.

Joe Graham, the father of local businessman and former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham, was also honored.  Graham served as a tank commander in the war but died in July after learning he would receive the French honor.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)