Paris train attack heroes get the Legion of Honour
It’s the greatet story of the year – the tale of three American tourists, a French banker, an American teacher living in Paris and a British ex-pat who took down heavily armed Ayoub El Khazzani, a Moroccan, on a train to Amsterdam.
Today France’s President Hollande awarded the Legion of Honour to Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Chris Norman.
The young French banker who first accosted the gunman wishes to remain anonymous. Mark Moogalian, 51, a university teacher based in Paris, was shot in the back. When he leaves hospital, he too will receive the Legion of Honour.
“You have shown us that, faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You have given a message of courage, solidarity and hope.”
We? No. They did.
El Khazzani, had a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Mr Skarlatos tells us:
“If he knew what he was doing or even got lucky and did the right thing, he would have been able to operate through all eight of the [ammunition] magazines and we probably wouldn’t be here today along with a lot of other people.”
Mr Moogalian’s French wife, Isabelle Risacher, saw what happened:
“My husband threw himself on the man to take his Kalashnikov away. When my husband collapsed, I saw him through the seats. He looked at me and said: ‘I’m hit, I’m hit’. He said that it was all over and he was going to die. There was blood everywhere. My husband is one of the heroes of this story and he nearly paid for it with his life. A few millimetres difference and his cartoid artery would have been sliced by the exiting bullet.”
He lived becasue Spencer Stone staunched the bleeding. Stone had been cut with a Stanley knife.