Klobuchar to give WWII vet in Bemidji service medal conferred by French government

  • Updated: July 3, 2013 - 6:35 AM

BEMIDJI, Minn. — A veteran of World War II living in Bemidji is receiving high honors from France for actions almost 70 years ago.

Private 1st Class John O'Boyle stood ready to be presented with the Knight of the Legion Honor Medal during a ceremony on Wednesday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was conferring the award, which is the highest decoration France bestows on a foreign citizen.

O'Boyle was an Army rifleman who fought in western Europe during the war, including service in northern France. He was severely wounded after being shot in both legs in Germany in 1944 and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

The Legion Honor Medal is conferred for deeds on behalf of France and also recognizes public service. O'Boyle was a public school teacher later in life.

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