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Three Americans, Briton Get Highest French Honor for Stopping Train Attack


David P. Dillard
 

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Three Americans, Briton Get Highest French Honor for Stopping Train Attack

By Faith Karimi

CNN

Updated 4:52 AM ET, Mon August 24, 2015

Video Source: CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/24/europe/france-train-shooting/

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(CNN)They grew up together, fought off an attacker together and were honored together.

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Two days after they pounced and subdued a gunman aboard a packed train, childhood American friends Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos got the Legion of Honor -- France's highest recognition.

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Fellow British passenger Chris Norman, who helped tackle the gunman, also got the award during the ceremony at Elysee Palace on Monday.

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"By their courage, they saved lives," President Francois Hollande said. "They gave us an example of what is possible to do in these kinds of situations."

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The four stopped a potential massacre Friday aboard the high-speed train headed from Amsterdam to Paris.

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"Three friends, discovering Europe -- heading to Paris," Hollande said. "Three Americans and one Englishman ... you risked your lives to defend an ideal, the ideal of liberty and freedom."

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Another passenger -- a French national who has not gone public -- also confronted the gunman, and will be honored at a later date.

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Napoleon Bonaparte established the award in 1802 to recognize exceptional leaders and unusual achievements.

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snip

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The alleged gunman, identified as Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani, said he only intended to conduct a robbery, not a terror act, his attorney Sophie David told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

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David said her client told her he found the firearms in a public garden next to a train station in Brussels, Belgium.

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But authorities said with the kind of firepower he had, it appears he was planning a massacre.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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