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WWII museum director to receive France's highest honor

National World War II Museum President Gordon "Nick" Mueller and his wife Beth Mueller arrive at the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
National World War II Museum President Gordon "Nick" Mueller and his wife Beth Mueller arrive at the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) AP

NEW ORLEANS -- The director of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans will receive France's highest honor.

NOLA.com/The Times Picayune reports that Gordon "Nick" Mueller will be recognized in Paris on May 20 with the Legion of Honor award for the museum-related work that he and museum supporters, journalist Tom Brokaw and actor Tom Hanks, have done to keep interest in World War II alive.

The award will honor the work the museum has done to bring programs and tours to Normandy. It will also honor Hanks and Brokaw, whom Mueller called "champions" for the museum.

Brokaw led a museum delegation to the 2014 ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Hanks drew attention to World War II with projects such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers."

Mueller said both men have spoken at ceremonies marking the openings of museum buildings.

French Army Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin will present award to the three men.

Mueller called the award unexpected. "It's a humbling realization that you're about to step into that long line of distinguished recipients," he said.

The award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize civil and military achievements.

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