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Stateside: Veteran receives highest honor from French government

Mercedes Mejia

When Glenn Dickerson shakes hands, he feels he is representing every soldier with whom he once fought.

The World War II veteran shook many hands on Tuesday as he was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor medal.

“I feel with that medal I represent others’ feats, those who didn’t make it back," said Dickerson.

“Marvin and I landed on Omaha Beach, but I didn’t really get to know him until six days after that. We were plugged into the frontline and it was getting dark. Marvin’s hole was ten feet ahead of mine. I abandoned my hole and moved in with Marvin. In the late evening, another replacement came in and he found the hole I had left and bedded down there and the next morning the Germans threw in a barrage of 88 shells and this guy was killed. Marvin asking me to join with him and share blankets saved my life,” said Dickerson.

Dickerson related his survival to a series of events- each one fatefully tied to the next, all binding together to keep him alive.

“The whole war was just an unbelievable chain of events formed by a bunch of little links,” said Dickerson.

During World War II, Dickerson saw a different America.

According to him, the entire country was personally involved in some way to ensure its victory.

“At that time, the entire country was involved. Today, very few are involved except those selected to go,” said Dickerson.

Dickerson addressed how disgruntling it is to think of his fellow fallen soldiers, those who did not return. For those people he expressed profound gratitude.

“I think, ‘You are shaking my hand but you're shaking everybody's hand who didn't come back,'" said Dickerson.

-Cameron Stewart

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