Local World War II Veteran Receives Honorary Award

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A local World War II veteran has received one of the highest honors for bravery.

Mary Bubala reports Harold Shapiro was inducted into France’s Legion of Honor in a ceremony Monday in Washington, D.C.

Shapiro, 87, earned two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart for his service during World War II. Now the Mt. Washington resident holds a new medal and a new title.

“I am a Chevalier. I get a kick out of that,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro is now a knight in France’s Legion of Honor.

“This is an award that was started by Napoleon.  This is the highest honor they pass out,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro was just a teenager when he arrived on Omaha Beach at Normandy as part of the 26th Infantry. Almost seven decades later, he has been honored for playing a key role in the liberation of France over Nazi Germany.

“The minister, in giving the award, he gave a little talk about each one of our exploits and he mentioned me pulling soldiers out of a burning building. I didn’t even think about it at the time. I mean, something had to be done, it had to be done. You don’t think I will be injured. It’s just second nature,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro and two other World War II vets received the honor in Washington Monday on the anniversary of D-Day.

The Legion of Honor is France’s highest civilian award. It’s equivalent to our Medal of Honor.

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