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Battle of the Bulge veterans honored by Belgium's consul general in Los Angeles

February 6, 2011 |  3:32 pm

BattleBelgium officials in Los Angeles on Saturday hosted 50 members of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, saying that without their bravery, the war would have been prolonged "and meant misery and death for a lot of people."

Reports The Times' Kenneth Weiss:

The men filed in slowly, one wearing a vintage green uniform emblazoned with a Purple Heart. Another rolled in on a chair, his head held high with a Veterans of Foreign Wars hat laden with medals. Some had lost frozen fingers, others toes. All had left behind friends 66 years ago in one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War II.

These men are the last of a kind, the surviving veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

"Soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge led the free world to victory," said Geert Criel, Belgium's consul general in Los Angeles. "On behalf of my country, I would like to thank every veteran who made a contribution to this historic achievement. For us, you are more than soldiers. You are heroes."

Read the full story here.

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Photo: Pete Howenstein says he is well-received when he goes to France for commemorative events: “I put on this uniform and the girls come up to me and hug me and kiss me.” Credit: Kenneth R. Weiss / Los Angeles Times

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