France Gives 3 American Heroes Highest Honor

Photo: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP
Update: Today, President François Hollande of France awarded the Legion of Honor — the nation's highest award — to the three Americans who helped thwart a gunman aboard a high-speed train on Friday, August 21. “Your heroism must be an example for many and a source of inspiration,” Hollande told Sadler, Skarlatos, and Stone, who are childhood friends, during a ceremony in Paris.

This article was originally published on August 23, 2015.

Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone are, respectively, a college student, a member of the Oregon National Guard, and an airman in the Air Force. Sadler and Stone are both 23 years old, while Skarlatos is 22. Most importantly, they are also heroes who stopped a terrorist attack on a train bound for Paris.

The three met in middle school, the New York Times reports, and decided to take a trip through Europe together — Stone is stationed in the Azores Islands, near Portugal. That they were even on that particular train to Paris was a fluke: the trio made a last minute decision to skip out on their plans to visit Amsterdam and hopped onto the train where they would end up thwarting an act of terror.

In a press conference, the three men explained the events. Stone said he woke from sleeping when he spotted a man trying to operate a jammed or broken weapon. He said Skarlatos tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Let's go." Skarlatos then tackled the man, pulling the weapon out of his hands, while Stone put him in a chokehold. "It seemed like he just kept pulling more weapons left and right," Stone explained.

The three men surrounded the terrorist and continued punching him. Next, Stone grabbed him again and choked him until he was unconscious as Skarlatos hit him in the head with the butt of a weapon. Stone's thumb was severely cut by a box cutter the terrorist was wielding.

That's a lot more than these young men bargained for when they planned a nearly monthlong European vacation. Their fellow train travelers are very thankful they made that last minute change to their itinerary.
Advertisement
Advertisement

More from Global News

Actress Emma Watson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down Wednesday to talk about gender equality. The Harry Potter star was in Ottawa ...
The bill lowers the age at which children can receive a prison sentence from 14 to 12, for involvement in “acts of terror,” which are described as “murder...
In case you had gone too long without remembering that women are unreasonably punished for not being amenable and interested in men at all times, here's an...
I want to continue to support female activists, and hope that by starting with a small, singular task like refusing straws, I can encourage each one of you...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be everyone's favorite woke bae, but there's a tiny royal who was not exactly impressed by him last weekend. ...
A ruling last month by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iranian women could not ride bicycles because it "attracts the attention of men and exposes the ...
“It’s a special school for me because I was a student there. But I don’t think I can see a way back there now,” she said
(Paid Content) 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. How many thousands of studies will have to be published before everyone is on board ...
For many refugees, the struggle to survive doesn't end after fleeing war-torn Syria. With the help of 17-year-old Khaldeya, we're taking you straight to ...
Here's your daily cry: A little boy from New York is inviting a Syrian child his age to come and live with him in safety. “We will give him a family, and ...
Natasha Maimba, 14, and Minahil Sarfraz, 15, do a lot of the same things any teen girls do. Maimba plays the guitar. Sarfraz likes to mug for the camera...
Emma Watson addressed the U.N. General Assembly again Tuesday, delivering a powerful speech calling for the reform of campus sexual assault policies. ...
Michelle Obama appeared at one of Broadway's landmark theaters Monday, taking the stage along with some of the industry's biggest stars. No, FLOTUS isn...
International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her client Nadia Murad are teaming up to sue ISIS. Murad, a Yazidi woman who says she prayed for death ...