Manitoba Second World War veteran turns 100, receives France's highest honour
On his 100th birthday, a veteran from Manitoba became the latest Canadian awarded France’s Legion of Honour in recognition of his role in liberating the country during the Second World War.
Ian Wilson told CTV Winnipeg that it felt “wonderful” to receive the country’s top honour, which is given out to different Canadian veterans each year.
Bruno Burnichon, France’s consul in Winnipeg, praised Wilson’s service.
"French people have never and will never forget what the Canadians did for the country of France," he said at the ceremony.
Wilson enlisted in the military in 1941 and was one of thousands of Allied forces who fought on the beaches of Normandy. He served as an armourer for a Royal Canadian Air Force’s Spitfire squadron.
Wilson’s son-in-law, Denis Rochon, said it was a proud moment for his two daughters and grandchildren. “This memory will last for decades,” he said. “They'll remember the day their grandfather became a knight.”
His wife, Betty Wilson, was also there. The two met while he was serving overseas and have been married for 75 years.
She said she had “never seen blue eyes like (his) before.
“He's tolerant,” she added. “I mean what more can you ask for?”