A Largo veteran was recently awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service during the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II, the Largo Leader reports.
Jim Collis, 89, landed on Omaha Beach with the U.S. Army 10 days after D-Day in June of 1944, the Leader reports. It wasn't until this year that an article about the medal inspired him to write to the French consulate in Miami about his eligibility.
The National Order of the Legion of Honour is France's highest decoration.
Collis is an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and the Largo Elks Club, the Leader reports. He also sings at the clubhouse at the Palm Court Mobile Home Park where he lives and is part of a musical group called the Palm Hill Players.
“Every day is a good day,” he told the Leader. “I thank God; he’s been good to me. As I keep saying as long as I’m on this side of the grass it means a lot. Life has been good to me and every morning and every night I pray for my family and friends. In fact at night I pray till I fall asleep.”
Read more about Collis' life in the Leader's feature story.