Penobscot Tribe Elder honored in Normandy for bravery on D-Day
A bronze bust of a Penobscot Nation tribal elder who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day was installed Saturday on that very same beach.
The Charles Shay Indian Memorial was placed at Omaha Beach in honor of the World War II veteran.
Shay served as a combat medic and is credited with saving soldiers from drowning on June 6, 1944.
Shay has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver star, as well as the French Legion of Honor in 2007.
The 96-year-old now calls Normandy home. He says he wanted to be close to his fallen brothers in his final years.
TV5 spoke with him Saturday morning about what this means to him and to the people of Penobscot Nation.
"I am very honored to have this sculpture in my name. We have the Penobscot flag hanging there on the beach where the sculpture is. It was awesome," said Shay.
Shay tells us his nephew, Timothy Shay, created a turtle sculpture that will accompany the bust in the park.