BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Bella Vista World War II veteran is the newest recipient of the highest French Order of Merit.
Kenneth B. Smith earned the French Legion of Honour Medal.
He was awarded the Chevalier Medal. “Chevalier” means “knight” in French.
Smith fought for the Allies in France to liberate it from Nazi Germany.
The French consulate came all the way to Bella Vista to present Smith with the medal which made him think of the reason he joined the fight.
“The period I grew up in, people were very, very patriotic,” Smith said. “All my buddies were joining, and that’s why I wanted to get in. I ended up in the Navy Air Force, for which I’ll be eternally thankful.”
The Legion of Honour Medal was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.