Warren Ross: War Veteran and Ambassador of the French Culture
Between the two national holidays of the 4th and 14th of July, France honored twenty-six U.S. veterans of World War II. The first ceremony took place July 10th, 2012 in Boynton Beach during which 18 U.S. veterans have received the Legion of Honor, the highest French distinction. Among those is Warren Ross, an American that landed on the shores of Normandy on June 6th, 1944 and was stationed in various places around France until the end of WWII.
L’e-Toile had the opportunity to interview him after the ceremony that took place in Boynton Beach at the Ascension Lutheran Church. Gaël De Maisonneuve, Consul General of France in Miami was among the keynote speakers and voiced his appreciation for the services that these men had performed in order to liberate France.
e-Toile : Could you be able to summarize your most notable memories from France?
Warren Ross : I was honored to receive this wonderful medal from the French government today. I love France, my wife is French, we got married during the war. I did a lot of work with the French families taking food to their homes from my airfield in the evenings, I would visit them in the evening and spend my evenings learning French. I also put together a musical ensemble and played shows, I sang at the Chartres Cathedral which was magnificent. Since the war I’ve been back three times, I’ve brought my son to Normandy, he saw where the landings were. I’ve been to Montpellier, almost all of France, after the war was over I was given an aircraft by the government and I had an air show in the Riviera, Nice, Cannes.
e-Toile : What was your opinion about France before landing in France, during WWII, did you have any idea what was going on in France?
Warren Ross : No, I had no idea except that I always liked to travel, and I was just amazed the people were so friendly. Some Americans would say they are not very friendly but its because most people don’t immerse themselves in the culture and learn to speak some of the language at least, I always found them to be wonderful, they treated me very fine. Every family I visited during the war I would take pictures with them. I intend to go back to France probably this year.
e-Toile : How are you feeling today after receiving these medals on behalf of the French government? Are you still involved with French culture?
Warren Ross : It’s very difficult, its a very warm feeling, I wonder what I really did to deserve it because many of my comrades didn’t make it. I liked to work alongside with France, I worked with the Alliance Francaise, I was active with my wife in Boca Raton we ran that and we had French people come over and we handeled all the programs it offered. We also run an International Club where people of different languages come together and congregate. We have a total of 23 different languages, and the clubs main purpose is to promote international unity. So, we have always been very involved.
I feel very at home with the French culture. There is nobody that can cook like the French, “la soupe à l’oignon, j’aime bien…”