Louis Graziano, a 98-year-old World War II veteran and the last surviving witness to the Nazi surrender in 1945, received France’s highest decoration, the French Legion of Honor, at a ceremony attended by friends and family. Vincent Hommeril, consul general of France in Atlanta, praised Graziano’s bravery and his role in making France a free and sovereign nation.
Born to Sicilian immigrants, Graziano was drafted in 1943 and landed in France as part of the Allied invasion. As a master sergeant in the Army, he contributed to rebuilding parts of Reims, including the little red schoolhouse where German troops surrendered.
After the war, Graziano settled in Augusta with his late wife, Bobbie. He still cuts hair at the salon he built himself. His son, Louis “Butch” C. Graziano II, a Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, expressed his pride and love for his father at the ceremony.
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