NATIONAL NEWS

New Orleans hat seller honored by France for service in WWII

Feb 27, 2024, 11:51 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 99-year-old New Orleans businessman best known in the city as a proprietor of his family’s landmark hat store on St. Charles Avenue was honored by the president of France on Tuesday for his military service during World War II.

Samuel Meyer, who still puts in a few days a week at Meyer the Hatter, the business started by his grandfather in 1894, was awarded the rank of chevalier, or knight, of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

“To receive this award from the French government, is testament to the bond that exists between our two nations,” Meyer said during a ceremony at the National World War II Museum, blocks away from his family business. “The bond between our two nations is unbreakable. And I am honored to have played a small part in strengthening it.”

Drafted at age 18, Meyer was a corporal with the 485th Fighter Squadron, 370th Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force. He was stationed at various times in Britain, Belgium, France and Germany. He served as an armorer, charged with loading bombs and ammunition on P-38 fighter planes. “I had to put the bullets in the guns,” he explained after the ceremony.

According to the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, the National Order of the Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 19, 1802, and membership is considered France’s highest honor.

The award was bestowed on behalf of the French president by French Ambassador Laurent Bili, who pinned a medal to Meyer’s lapel as Meyer’s wife of 64 years, Marcelle, looked on with friends, family and museum visitors.

Speaking later with reporters, Bili stressed that the award must be earned.

“We are not giving an award to people for where we come from, their birth rights, but for their merit rights,” Bili said.

National News

Associated Press

Wildfire north of Los Angeles spreads as authorities issue evacuation orders

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) — Authorities issued evacuation orders Saturday as a wildfire in Los Angeles County spread thousands of acres close to a major highway and threatened nearby structures, officials said. The blaze that is being called the Post Fire burned more than 3,600 acres (5.6 square miles or 14.5 square kilometers) near the Interstate […]

2 hours ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting at splash pad in Detroit suburb leaves ‘numerous wounded victims,’ authorities say

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Multiple people were wounded Saturday in a shooting at a splash pad in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, authorities said. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard told reporters that “it sounds like we have nine, maybe 10 victims with gunshot wounds, victims of varying kinds of injuries.” Authorities said they […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs returns key to New York City in response to video of him attacking singer Cassie

NEW YORK (AP) — Sean “ Diddy ” Combs has returned his key to New York City after a request from Mayor Eric Adams in response to the release of a video showing the music mogul attacking R&B singer Cassie, officials said Saturday. The mayor’s office said Combs returned the key after Adams sent letters […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Victim identified in Southern California homicide case, 41 years after her remains were found

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A victim whose skull was found by children in a Southern California city in 1983 has been identified 41 years after her remains were first discovered, authorities said. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim Friday as Maritza Glean Grimmett, a Panamanian native who moved to the U.S. in […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Missouri abortion ban wasn’t about lawmakers imposing religious beliefs, judge says

A judge in Missouri says lawmakers who passed a restrictive abortion ban weren’t trying to impose their religious beliefs on everyone in the state, rejecting a case filed by more than a dozen Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist leaders who support abortion rights. The groups sought a permanent injunction last year barring Missouri from enforcing […]

8 hours ago

New Orleans hat seller honored by France for service in WWII