U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is now an officer in France’s Legion of Honor.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault bestowed the award on Kerry on Saturday after the two held talks on Syria’s war.
Calling him a “friend to France,” the Foreign Ministry said he earned the distinction for “his indefatigable efforts in favor of peace.”
Accepting the award, an emotional Kerry recalled visiting Normandy D-Day beaches as a child with his French mother, and watching her cry.
“That’s when I began to understand the cost of war, and the need for all of us to keep fighting for peace, always.”
He also hailed Napoleon for creating the Legion.