At a Veterans Day ceremony in Boulder, Colorado, Ambassador Nicole Bintner-Bakshian bestowed, on behalf of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke Henri, the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to WWII veteran Louis Zoghby, for his participation in the Battle of the Bulge.
Mr Zoghby served as Private First Class in the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, which fought on the European Theatre. He spent four months in England, until December 27, 1944, when the 17th Airborne was sent to the front as part of General Patton’s 3rd US Army, taking the lead in relieving beleaguered American troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, which remains among the most important battles of the war. It marked the last major offensive attempted by the Axis Powers on the Western front. It was also the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II. Although the offensive was effectively broken by December 27, the battle continued for another month before the front line was effectively restored to its position prior to the attack.
On February 11, 1945, the 17th Airborne was reassigned to operation Varsity, which was 17th Airborne Division’s first combat air assault and the last major airborne operation of World War II on the European Theatre. It was also arguably the war’s most successful combat parachute drop.
Later, Mr Zoghby joined the 82nd Airborne (325th Glider Infantry Regiment), and after serving for five months in Berlin, he returned home in January 1946.
The Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was instituted on January 23, 1961 by Grand Duchess Charlotte. It is intended to reward outstanding professional achievement in both the civil and military field.