Mr. Tam Cato, we are thankful for your invaluable service to our two countries [fr]
On the eve of “Victory in Europe Day”, marking the end of World War II in Europe and the French people’s freedom, the Consul general presented American hero, Mr. Tam Cato, with the Legion of Honor.
On May 7th, 2019, a day before the French commemorations marking the end of the fights in Europe known in France as the 8 mai and in the United-States as VE Day, the Consul general of France, Clément Leclerc, was joined by U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho, French General Germain Barrau, commander of the French detachment at the US CENTCOM in Tampa, Mayor Gib Coerper of the city of Alachua, French Lieutenant-Commander Jean-Marc Coppola from CENTCOM, and Colonel Frank Zenko, Commanding Officer of Camp Blanding –the camp where Mr. Tam Cato was trained in 1941 as a Second Lieutenant- in Alachua, Florida to recognize the outstanding achievements of Mr. Cato.
Gary Hollis, District Director representing Senator Rick Scott and Ms. Susan Crowley representing the President of the University of Florida, as well as many other Veterans also attended the ceremony alongside Mr. Cato’s family members and friends.
“Mr. Cato, we know what we owe to you and to your brothers-in-arms, for the role you played in the restoration of peace and freedom on our continent.” stated the Consul general before awarding the insignia of "Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur" to Mr. Tam Cato.
“In a few weeks from now, continued Clément Leclerc, President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Donald Trump of the United States, will be together in Normandy, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day. It will be a ceremony to remember the tremendous sacrifice and selflessness of the Allied soldiers, to express our gratitude to the Greatest Generation and to pass on the memory”.
Mr. Tam Cato, who joined the 390th Engineers General Service Regiment of the US Army in September 1942, participated in these battles to liberate France by fighting in the Liberation of Northern France, the Rhineland Offensive, and the Battle of the Bulge until the end of the conflict.
“We are thankful Mr. Cato, said the Consul general, for the example you set during WWII. We thank you for fighting for the values that define our two nations. It is an Alliance grounded on common values inherited from the French and American Revolutions: democracy, freedom, and the dignity of the human being.”
On May 7th, 2019, Mr. Tam Cato received the Legion of Honor, the highest award of the French Republic, a well-deserved medal for his incommensurable contribution to the Liberation of France.
“We will never forget”, assured Mr. Clément Leclerc.