PACIFIC PALISADES, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --More than 70 years after they helped to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation, 10 World War II veterans from the Southland were awarded France's highest civilian honor.
French officials presented the Legion of Honor medal to the veterans, saying their service should still be remembered and honored to the present day.
Veteran Agie Harada noted that most of his own military unit were Japanese Americans who showed devotion to this country even when many had been forced into internment camps during the war.
"I would say two-thirds of that outfit were volunteers from these camps," Harada said. "It goes to prove we are loyal to the United States."
Christophe Lemoine, the consul general of France in Los Angeles, said even after this much time has passed after the war, many of the principals at stake then are still at risk today.
"For the French government, even nowadays we see that democracy and human rights are a constant fight," Lemoine said. "And we shouldn't forget those who did it 70 years ago."