‘Vive la liberté!’ WWII veteran Lawson Adkins honored by government of France


WWII veteran Adkins honored by France

Guillaume Lacroix and Lawson Adkins with his plaque, and a bottle of celebratory wine.

Guillaume Lacroix and Lawson Adkins with his plaque, and a bottle of celebratory wine.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Multiple generations of Lawson Adkins’ family attended.


Tom Barr | News Journal

David Adkins, grandson of Lawson Adkins, represents the family in speaking at the event.


Tom Barr | News Journal

A large crowd packed Ohio Living Cape May Saturday morning.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Paul Butler, veteran and good friend of Lawson Adkins, tells the audience about Lawson’s life experiences.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth proclaims Saturday, April 6 Lawson Adkins Day in the city.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins holds his proclamation from the City of Wilmington, surrounded by family.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Local veteran Josh Sams was master of ceremonies.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix, French Consul General of France for the Midest, speaks to the audience on behalf of a grateful nation. Behind him are flags of the United States and of France.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix congratulates Lawson Adkins, who was nominated for the honor by local veteran Mac McKibben.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins receives the honor from Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France for the Midwest, as family, friends and local veterans look on.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins speaks after receiving the honor as Josh Sams looks on.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Representatives of local veterans organizations with Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix.


Tom Barr | News Journal

With Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix at Cape May, where Lawson resides, are Ohio Living Cape May Executive Director and Administrator Brad Reynolds and Ohio Living Cape May Director of Business Development Abby Ellsberry.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Members of Lawson Adkins’ family join him and Guillaume Lacroix.


Tom Barr | News Journal

From left are Guillaume Lacroix, Lawson Adkins and Mayor John Stanforth.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix pins the medal on Lawson Adkins.


Tom Barr | News Journal

WILMINGTON — A grateful nation bestowed its highest honor on a local World War II veteran at a ceremony Saturday morning at Ohio Living Cape May.

Lawson Adkins — surrounded as well by grateful family, friends and veterans — was awarded the French Legion of Honor by the government of France and its representative, Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France for the Midwest.

“We are here to honor a true American hero, and also a French hero,” said Lccroix. “It is not only me who says this, it is the French president.” He added that the French government was honoring Adkins “for his service, for the exceptional deeds he accomplished for our people, and for our freedom, and for our democracy.

“The Legion of Honor is a big deal,” Lacroix added.

He also made it clear on behalf of his nation that, “We want to thank all men and women who served in World War I and World War II, who by serving their country, saved my country.”

Adkins’ grandson spoke on behalf of the large family contingent that attended, recognizing Lawson’s devotion to his family as well as to the communities in which he has lived and his service to veterans throughout his lifetime.

Paul Butler, local veteran and good friend of Lawson Adkins, shared stories and biographical highlights of Adkins’ life, many of which Butler shared recently in a feature story in the News Journal.

Lacroix also added that he’d enjoyed his stay in Wilmington, praising the people of Wilmington, the General Denver Hotel — “a treasure” — while giving a nod to the upcoming music-packed summer in his statement that, “Wilmington rocks.”

Guillaume Lacroix and Lawson Adkins with his plaque, and a bottle of celebratory wine.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0170.jpgGuillaume Lacroix and Lawson Adkins with his plaque, and a bottle of celebratory wine. Tom Barr | News Journal

Multiple generations of Lawson Adkins’ family attended.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0111.jpgMultiple generations of Lawson Adkins’ family attended. Tom Barr | News Journal

David Adkins, grandson of Lawson Adkins, represents the family in speaking at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0114.jpgDavid Adkins, grandson of Lawson Adkins, represents the family in speaking at the event. Tom Barr | News Journal

A large crowd packed Ohio Living Cape May Saturday morning.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0117.jpgA large crowd packed Ohio Living Cape May Saturday morning. Tom Barr | News Journal

Paul Butler, veteran and good friend of Lawson Adkins, tells the audience about Lawson’s life experiences.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0119.jpgPaul Butler, veteran and good friend of Lawson Adkins, tells the audience about Lawson’s life experiences. Tom Barr | News Journal

Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth proclaims Saturday, April 6 Lawson Adkins Day in the city.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0121.jpgWilmington Mayor John Stanforth proclaims Saturday, April 6 Lawson Adkins Day in the city. Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins holds his proclamation from the City of Wilmington, surrounded by family.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0124.jpgLawson Adkins holds his proclamation from the City of Wilmington, surrounded by family. Tom Barr | News Journal

Local veteran Josh Sams was master of ceremonies.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0126.jpgLocal veteran Josh Sams was master of ceremonies. Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix, French Consul General of France for the Midest, speaks to the audience on behalf of a grateful nation. Behind him are flags of the United States and of France.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0129.jpgGuillaume Lacroix, French Consul General of France for the Midest, speaks to the audience on behalf of a grateful nation. Behind him are flags of the United States and of France. Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix congratulates Lawson Adkins, who was nominated for the honor by local veteran Mac McKibben.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0131.jpgGuillaume Lacroix congratulates Lawson Adkins, who was nominated for the honor by local veteran Mac McKibben. Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins receives the honor from Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France for the Midwest, as family, friends and local veterans look on.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0138.jpgLawson Adkins receives the honor from Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France for the Midwest, as family, friends and local veterans look on. Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins speaks after receiving the honor as Josh Sams looks on.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0142.jpgLawson Adkins speaks after receiving the honor as Josh Sams looks on. Tom Barr | News Journal

Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0149.jpgLawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix. Tom Barr | News Journal

Representatives of local veterans organizations with Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0156-1.jpgRepresentatives of local veterans organizations with Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix. Tom Barr | News Journal

With Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix at Cape May, where Lawson resides, are Ohio Living Cape May Executive Director and Administrator Brad Reynolds and Ohio Living Cape May Director of Business Development Abby Ellsberry.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0160.jpgWith Lawson Adkins and Guillaume Lacroix at Cape May, where Lawson resides, are Ohio Living Cape May Executive Director and Administrator Brad Reynolds and Ohio Living Cape May Director of Business Development Abby Ellsberry. Tom Barr | News Journal

Members of Lawson Adkins’ family join him and Guillaume Lacroix.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0167-1.jpgMembers of Lawson Adkins’ family join him and Guillaume Lacroix. Tom Barr | News Journal

From left are Guillaume Lacroix, Lawson Adkins and Mayor John Stanforth.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC_0168.jpgFrom left are Guillaume Lacroix, Lawson Adkins and Mayor John Stanforth. Tom Barr | News Journal

Guillaume Lacroix pins the medal on Lawson Adkins.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/04/web1_DSC-0133p.jpgGuillaume Lacroix pins the medal on Lawson Adkins. Tom Barr | News Journal
WWII veteran Adkins honored by France