Two North Vancouver heroes in their 90s given France’s highest military honour

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By Times Colonist

Nov 26, 2017  – North Vancouver MLA Bowinn Ma had a dilemma in the legislature this past week. She wanted to pay tribute to two constituents for significant recognition they had earned many years ago.

The two gentlemen, both in their 90s, were recently awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, for their service in the liberation of France during the Second World War.

It’s France’s highest military honour and it’s still being bestowed on Canadian war veterans after records were combed through prior to the 70th anniversary of D-Day and hundreds of eligible soldiers were found who had not received it earlier. The honour isn’t granted posthumously.

Ma’s problem was that one of them was a “humble and private man” who preferred not to be named in the media.

So she noted the other veteran’s name: Virgil Billesberger, who served with the Calgary Highlanders. The North Shore News reported that he got the medal in the mail a few days before Remembrance Day.

Later in the day Ma got word that permission had been granted to use the other gent’s name.

So Dave McMurray, of the 6th Field Company Canadian Engineers, also got a round of applause in the house.

Read the whole article at the Times Colonist.