Sunday, March 9, 2014
Twenty-one year old Army Corporal Bertrand Dutil, of
Dutil, 81, is a
It was 60 years ago, in 1953, when the fighting in
Dutil, a Franco-American, was invited to witness the signing ceremonies at Munsan-ni in July, 1953, because he speaks French. “There were 28 nations represented at the signing,” he says. “I was asked to be a French interpreter for the representatives from the four or five French speaking countries that sent high ranking officials to participate in the ceremony.”
French is Dutil’s primary language. “My parents and grandparents spoke only French,” he says. At St. Peter’s Parochial School in
“I wanted to be sure I was using correct French words,” he says.
The large number of high ranking military officers who attended Munsan-ni obviously left a lasting impression on Corporal Dutil. “As an Army Corporal, I found myself frequently saluting very high ranking officers,” he recalls. “There were so many, I could hardly walk three steps between saluting them.”
On Tuesday December 4, 2013, Dutil and other Korean War Veterans were invited to the Maine State House in Augusta where they were presented a book titled “Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth”. It’s a hardbound, 160-page coffee-table book printed by
“Korea Reborn”, was published to remember the three-year Korean War’s 60th Commemorative anniversary and is a gift of gratitude from the industries and government of
Attending the Hall of Flag ceremonies were
Dutil’s Army Medals from the Korean War are displayed in a medal box in the Collection. James Myall, coordinator of the Collection, provides the names of each medal and the objects in the medal box, all of them earned by Dutil.
Army Medals of the Korean War and military awards received by Bert Dutil:
James Myall shows Bert Dutil's Medal Box
First Row top (left to right): Sharpshooter pin, rifle pin, Combat Infantry Badge,
Second row: Commendation Medal, Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star, United Nations Korean Medal, National Defense Medal, Korean Medal given by
Third row: 40th Division patch in
Juliana L’Heureux is a freelance writer whose articles about Maine’s Franco-American history and culture have appeared in Portland newspapers for 25 years. She serves on the Maine Franco-American Leadership Council.
Juliana and her husband Richard live in Topsham ME. Feel free to contact her at Juliana@mainewriter.com.