On March 22, 2016, a ceremony was held to induct a number of veterans into France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour. This is the highest French honorary decoration awarded for eminent merit in military or civilian service to the French nation. The distinction, normally reserved for French nationals, is awarded exceptionally to foreigners, including veterans who fought in the First and Second World Wars. The ceremony was held at the Maison Paul-Triquet, where Mr. Michaud and four other veterans were in attendance to accept the honour. Among the dignitaries present were Claude Racine, President of the Royal Canadian Legion in Quebec City; Jean-Robert Zonda, French Remembrance General Delegate in Canada; and LCol Éric Fortin, Commander of 5e régiment du génie de combat (5 RGC). Nicolas Chibaeff, representing the French Consulate in Quebec City and accompanied by an honour guard made up mostly of 5 RGC members, presented the honours to the heroic veterans on behalf of the President of the French Republic. The decorations that the veterans now wear identify them as having the rank of Chevalier (knight) of the Legion of Honour.
Louis-Philippe Michaud, one of the recipients, is a hero of the Second World War and a veteran of the Royal Canadian Engineers. Born on May 1, 1918, the fifth child in a family of 11 children, he enlisted in 1942. He spent two months in basic training before joining the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Engineers in Petawawa. Later that year, he left for England. For two years, he helped build a vast number of military works. In June 1944, he participated in the Normandy landings and served in the campaign to liberate France, Belgium and the Netherlands. As part of a team building bridge after bridge, Mr. Michaud helped the troops advance until Germany surrendered. He did not return to Canada until 1946, after helping to return castles and other buildings occupied by the military to their rightful owners. Upon his return, he married Jacqueline Harisson, with whom he had three children. In addition to his military decorations, Mr. Michaud was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Field Marshal Montgomery, Commander of the 21st Army Group, for his service in the Northwest Europe Campaign.