24 Aug 2015

Three Americans and Brit Who Subdued Gunman Knighted in the French Legion of Honor

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Airman First Class Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, U.S. student Anthony Sadler, and British businessman Chris Norman who took down the Moroccan terrorist on the high-speed train to Paris have been made Knights of the French Legion of Honor, France’s highest award for valor.

French President François Hollande pinned on their medals in a ceremony at the Élysée Palace.

The Daily Mail has a more detailed account of the action on the train than any I’ve seen previously.

Apparently, it was an unnamed French banker who first confronted the gunman. A 51-year-old American musician came to his aid and wrestled the AK-47 out of the Moroccan’s hands, whereupon the terrorist took out a Luger pistol and shot him in the neck. It was after all that that the three younger Americans piled in, restrained the gunman, and beat him unconscious.

Mr Moogalian, 51, originally from Virginia in the U.S., came to aid of a French banker known only as ‘Damien A’ who was initially confronted by El-Khazzani during the attack on Friday.

Acting instinctively to protect his wife Isabella Risacher, he ripped the Kalashnikov assault rifle from El-Khazzani who then drew a handgun and shot him in the back of the neck.

Mr Moogalian, a musician in a band called Secret Season, feared he was going to die after suffering massive blood loss.

His sister, Julia, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘He made sure his wife was hidden behind a seat.

‘He did manage to get the weapon away from the gunman. But the gunman then pulled another gun and shot my brother.

‘There’s a video of him saying ‘help me’ – he thought he was losing so much blood he would die.’

Mr Moogalian, a keen cyclist, is being treated in hospital and may have lost some use his left arm after suffering nerve damage.


I think it was right that the Government of France made these awards, but I think the Republic of France really has sufficient manpower and resources to have arranged for Airman Stone and Guardsman Skarlatos to have been provided with dress uniforms to be worn at the ceremony, and I think the French Republic could have afforded to buy Mr. Sadler a suit and tie.

3 Feedbacks on "Three Americans and Brit Who Subdued Gunman Knighted in the French Legion of Honor"


I agree with you about their casual dress. I even wondered if they were to provided uniforms- the US Government and the US Embassy in Paris could have pulled all stops out and had perfectly fitting uniforms on site in under 8 hours. Complete with the correct uniform insignia- They could have gotten it either from the massive uniform Clothing Sales (part of the AAFES PX/BX Exchange system in Europe) or from the mortuary affairs folks at Dover AFB in Delaware…Yes, all these guys are alive, but Dover’s mortuary group has a massive inventory to clothe casualties.

But then a light bulb went off on my head. Does the FRENCH Government want photos of uniformed US Military personnel being knighted for rescuing French citizens in France? No, they do not. They absolutely do not want that visual. Does the US Government want that photo? Nope, the US Government doesn’t want it either- the US Government wants to avoid an media reminders of US Servicemen in Europe. This is to avoid antagonizing the European voters and socialists, as well as the massive Muslim community…

In the early 1990’s, I knew a pregnant female Sergeant who had the windows shot out of her car in Frankfurt by peaceful muslims.

I think the casual look was a deliberate way to reward these guys, and get it off the front page of the news as fast as possible.

Wayne Kimbell

Well, yes, I wondered about the casual dress of the Americans too. Of course they’re college-age Americans on vacation so one expects them to be traveling light. But, what about the American embassy and our diplomatic staff in Paris? Couldn’t THEY have gotten proper dress for our “average” American heroes?

Lazarus Long

I guess I’m a bit late to the discussion. Paul nailed it. The CSM (Command Sergeant Major) at NATO HQ could have gotten the appropriate uniforms with just 3 phone calls. That’s how the military operates. You can bet he is fuming just now. As for the “national Guardsman” is he Air Guard or Army Guard? Just curious.


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