Tom Brokaw received the French Legion of Honor in Paris on May 20, 2016 with Tom Hanks and Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller.
Dorothea de La Houssaye and Tom Brokaw
In May 2016, 32 years after Tom Brokaw set foot on the sand of Omaha Beach, Dorothea de La Houssaye and Simon Rock de Besombes recommended Tom Brokaw for a “Chevalier de La Legion Honneur” for his continuing work and advocacy on veterans issues and preserving the legacy of “The Greatest Generation”.
Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism and political reporting is a special correspondent for NBC. He was inspired to write his best-selling book “The Greatest Generation” during a trip to Normandy in 1984, the 40th anniversary of D Day and the Battle of Normandy.
Tom Brokaw was in Normandy to produce a documentary and listened to the stirring stories of Omaha Beach veterans and airborne paratroopers like Congressman Gibbons. Listening to them Tom Brokaw was transported back to his childhood in the Great Plains of South Dakota during the 40’s and 50’s.
Tom Brokaw began to write the veterans war time accounts under the keen eye of Kate Medina, Random House editor and commander-in-chief of “The Greatest Generation Project” and he had the unswerving support of NBC. He realized how much the veteran’s opinions were formed by the deprivations and lessons of the Great Depression. The surviving veterans of the Greatest Generation are indeed living reminders of the good that can prevail during difficult times and the lesson that working together to organize our lives around what we need and not what we want is of paramount importance.
“The Greatest Generation” was published in 1998 to great critical acclaim and then in 2005 followed “The Greatest Generation Speaks”, the latter inspired by the mountains of mail Brokaw received after the success of his first book.
Tom Brokaw, General Georgelin, Tom Hanks, Ambassador Hartley, Dorothea de La Houssaye and Dr. Nick Mueller.
Tom Brokaw was the only network evening news anchor to report from Normandy in June 2004, the 60th anniversary of the D Day landings. Brokaw interviewed President George W Bush at the American cemetery in Normandy on the 6th June. NBC used our chateau in Normandy as their headquarters.
Tom Brokaw currently serves on the Franklin Project leadership council with Normandy institute advisory board member Stan McChrystal.
Kate Medina, Tom Brokaw’s editor was among the guests for the ceremony with her husband Leo Guthart.