|SEATTLE, July 20, 2011--During a Friday, July 22 ceremony next to the Museum's B-17, long-time Seattle resident Henry "Sandy" McMurray, 90, will be awarded one of France's highest honors - the Legion of Honor. McMurray was a U.S. Air Force's B-17 bomber pilot during World War II, and a Boeing Aircraft pilot for 30 years after the war. The 10 a.m. ceremony with a representative from the French Consulate will publicly recognize him as a "Chevalier" of the Legion of Honor, which was decreed upon him by President Nicolas Sarkozy on Jan. 6, 2011.
The citation for the award 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 true and unforgettable gratitude and appreciation for your personal, precious contribution to the United Stales' 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 great merit. The French people will never forget your courage and your devotion to the great cause of freedom."
McMurray says that however grateful he is for this honor, he is accepting it on behalf of all of the American bomber air- and ground crews who served during World War II. Following the ceremony he will donate the medal to The Museum of Flight.
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