Lipinski Honors a Real American Hero (February 18, 2014)

Monday evening, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) helped honor brave World War II Veteran Bruno Perino, who was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor Medal, the highest honor that France can bestow upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France.  Mr. Perino earned this honor for his bravery in helping to liberate France as a rifleman in the 45th Division of the U.S. Army.  Lipinski joined Mr. Perino’s family, members of the American Legion Orland Memorial Post #111 and staff from the George Brown Veterans Center in Orland Park for the ceremony.

“Bruno Perino is an exceptional individual and we can’t thank him enough for his service to our great nation and the world,” said Lipinski. “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Bruno and his family, and congratulate him on receiving this rare honor.”

As a teenager, Perino saw his first action on the beaches of Marseilles just six days after D-Day.  During his time overseas, he faced countless attacks by Germans; even singlehandedly capturing a German officer and his soldiers in Alsace-Lorraine.  Hefought his way through France, Yugoslavia and Belgium, before finally arriving in Germany.  There, he helped liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp.  Constantly immersed in death, destruction and despair, he relied heavily on faith and the power of prayer to get him through the day. After the war was over, Bruno returned to Chicago and was honorably discharged with a variety of military decorations, including three Bronze Stars.  Perino went on to build a life in Chicago, getting married and raising three children.  He has since been blessed with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“In today’s world, we are quick to heap praise on certain individuals and label them a ‘hero’,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “When talking about Bruce Perino, ‘hero’ seems like an understatement.  This humble man from Chicago accomplished more during a few years in his youth than most people accomplish in an entire lifetime.  He and his peers were thrust into terrifying situations, seeing things no person should ever see, and they saved not just our country, but the entire world.  I am honored to give a hero like Bruce Perino my heartfelt thank you, both here and in the U.S. Congress.”

Lipinski presented a copy of the statement he made honoring Mr Perino in the United States House of Representatives.

A letter from the French Consulate in Chicago reads:  “Through this award, the French government pays tribute to the soldiers who did so much for France and Western Europe.  More than 65 years ago, you gave your youth to France and the French people.  Many of your fellow soldiers did not return, but they remain in our hearts.  Thanks to your courage, and to our American friends and allies, France has been living in peace for the past six decades.  You saved us and we will never forget.  Gratitude and remembrance are forever in our souls.”