In case you haven’t heard the situation that took place on a high-speed train traveling to Paris from Amsterdam:
The three Americans were on the high-speed train when a man armed with a Kalashnikov (AK-47), an automatic Luger pistol and a box cutter raced through the car. The men tackled and subdued the gunman, who was taken into custody in France.
French President Francois Hollande has awarded the Legion d’Honneur to the four men, Americans Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler, and Briton Chris Norman, who overpowered a gunman on a train in France. He pinned their medals to their chests and embraced them on both cheeks, as is customary.
Hollande thanked the four for their bravery and also paid homage to the 28-year-old French professor who was the first to tackle the gunman but did “not want his name to be made public,” a reaction Hollande said he understood.
“We are here to honor four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives,” Hollande said. “They showed what could be done in terrible circumstances.
Hollande presented the Legion d’Honneur to U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23; Alek Skarlatos, 22, an Oregon National Guardsman; Anthony Sadler, 23, a student at Sacramento State University.
In addition to the 3 Americans, the award was also given to British citizen Chris Norman, 62. Also, two others will receive the Legion d’Honneur at a later date — a French citizen who also tackled the man in the incident Friday but wishes to remain anonymous and a French-American named by Hollande as Mark Moogalian, 51. Moogalian, who was shot, remains in a hospital.
“In the name of France, I would like to thank you for what you have done. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom.
“You averted what could have been a true carnage,” Hollande continued. “You behaved like soldiers but also as men, responsible men.”