The three Americans who helped thwart an attack by an AK-47-toting gunman on an Amsterdam-Paris train will receive France’s highest honor on Monday.
French President Francois Hollande will give childhood buddies Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler the Legion d’Honneur. Chris Norman, a British man who also rushed the assailant on the high-speed train on Friday, will also be given the award during a ceremony at the Élysée Palace, the president’s official residence.
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They have been hailed as heroes, although they have been quick to share the accolades.
“Everyone played their own part. No one is specifically to praise,” said Stone, a 23-year-old first-class airman during a press conference at the U.S. ambassador’s residence on Sunday.
He and Skarlatos, a 22-year-old Oregon National Guardsman, have said their military training had not come into play until after the gunman was subdued.
“In the beginning, it was basically just gut instinct,” Skarlatos said Sunday. “We just kind of acted. There wasn’t much thinking going on.”