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French native honors D-Day veterans; named Red Cross Military Hero

volunteered to goBernard on his way to help during the snow storm in 2009 in south west Virginia
volunteered to goBernard on his way to help during the snow storm in 2009 in south west Virginia (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A man being named a the Red Cross Military Hero isn't a veteran of the United States military.

But that makes him no less of an American hero.

Bernard as a young boy in France with his parents.
Bernard as a young boy in France with his parents.

Bernard Marie spent the past 30 years serving those who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Thanks to the Americans and their efforts on D-Day, Bernard's native country, France, changed forever. Since then, Bernard has held U.S. D-Day veterans close to his heart.

And Bernard began his mission to pay that thanks forward when he moved to Indiana and organized his first dinner in honor of D-Day veterans.

It's a dinner celebration that moved with Bernard when he relocated to Roanoke in 2000.

It's been 30 years since the first the annual dinner, and it's still going strong - making him worthy of the Red Cross Military Hero award.

"I was [at the breakfast] a couple years ago when Bill Overstreet was recognized, and Bill Overstreet flew his plane under the Eiffel Tower chasing a German, trying to knock down a German in front of him. There's a huge difference between him and me going on the same stage for the same award, there's something that make me feel uncomfortable," Bernard humbly explained.