Three Americans and a British grandfather who prevented ‘carnage’ by tackling the French train terrorist have been awarded France’s highest honour for bravery.
U.S. Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, their friend Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman were presented with the Legion d’Honneur at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
French President Francois Hollande, who pinned on their medals, praised the men for taking action in the face of terrorism.
The ceremony was held as the first heroic passenger who wrestled a machine gun from the terrorist was today revealed to be an American professor.
Mark Moogalian, an academic at the University of Paris, was shot in the neck as he fought with Ayoub El-Khazzani on board the high-speed service from Amsterdam to Paris.
The other four men then stepped in to overpower the attacker and tie him up.
Speaking at the medal ceremony, Mr Hollande told Mr Stone and Mr Skarlatos that while they may have been soldiers on that day ‘you were simply passengers. You behaved as soldiers but also as responsible men.’
The pair and their longtime friend Anthony Sadler, subdued the gunman as he moved through the train with an assault rifle strapped to his bare chest.
Mr Norman, an IT expert, jumped in to help tie him up.
The men showed ‘that faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You also gave a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope,’ Mr Hollande said.
Mr Norman, speaking in French after receiving the medal, said it was less a question of heroism than survival.
‘I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but I ask you to really think: OK, what will I do if this happens?
‘Am I going to simply stand still or am I going to try to be active if the situation presents itself?’ he said.
The Americans, casual in vacation-style polo shirts and khakis against the backdrop of the highly formal presidential palace, appeared slightly overwhelmed as they received France’s highest honour.
His arm in a sling and his eye bruised, Stone, 23, has said he was coming out of a deep sleep when the gunman appeared.
Skarlatos, a 22-year-old National Guardsman recently back from Afghanistan ‘just hit me on the shoulder and said ‘Let’s go.’
With those words, Hollande said, a ‘veritable carnage’ was avoided.
He added: ‘Since Friday, the entire world admires your courage, your sangfroid, your spirit of solidarity.
‘This is what allowed you to with bare hands – your bare hands – subdue an armed man. This must be an example for all, and a source of inspiration,’ Hollande said.
The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, is detained and being questioned by French counterterrorism police outside Paris.
El-Khezzani’s lawyer, Sophie David, told Le Monde newspaper the gunman is ill-educated, emaciated, and told her he had spent the past six months traveling between Belgium, Germany and Austria, as well as France and Andorra.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk
- Watch: Al Sharpton’s Epic Fails When Reading Teleprompter Will Have You Rolling With Laughter, ‘The Thigh (Thai) Militarty’
- The Two Missing Minutes in Case Where Officer Mohamed Noor Shot the Yoga Teacher
- Officer Mohamed Noor Refuses to Cooperate With Investigators After Shooting Dead Yoga Teacher
- Wife Found Guilty of Shooting Her Husband Dead and the Only Witness was Their Pet Parrot
- Watch: Revolver or Semi-Auto for a Conceal Carry Weapon?
- Cop Mohammed Noor Shot Yoga Teacher From Patrol Car, While Reaching Over His Partner
- Trump Admin Wins Second Time with Travel Ban, Strict Enforcement…
- If You Wear a Miniskirt in Saudi Arabia, Here is What Happens…
- Congress Fails to Include Majority of Trump’s Budget Cuts in House GOP Budget Plan
- Chris Hemsworth Thinks a Woman Should be the New Bond…
- 10,000 New ICE Agents are Ordered to Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities
- ANTIFA Protester Hits MAGA Man, Then All Hell Breaks Loose [Video]
- Crocodile Returns Body of Man it Killed After Witch Doctor ‘Summoned It’ [Video]
- College Students Love Socialism, But Can’t Define It [VIDEO]
- Susan Rice Is Not Going to Testify About Unmasking Trump Supporters
- John McCain’s Daughter Reveals the Senator Has Been Diagnosed With Brain Cancer
- Gang of 4 Stalk 50yr-Old Woman, ‘Forced Her to Perform Oral Sex at Gunpoint’ [Video]
- Delta Airlines Kicks Ann Coulter Out of Her Seat and Boy Was That the Wrong Decision…