Belgians Recognized by US Armor Association
- Belgians Recognized by US Armor Association
Armor Assn. names two `Patrons'
Two Belgians have dedicated their lives to the restoration of a WWII U.S. Army tank and the significance it played on their country's liberation 65 years ago. For that effort, the U.S. Armor Association has awarded Jean Claude Busine and Pierre Deghaye with the Noble Patron of Armor Award.
"They've made a significant contribution to preserving not only the history of Mons but preserving the history and memory of the United States Armor forces," said Col. Bart Howard, a 25-year armor officer who nominated the men.
Pierre Deghaye, who is now the president of the auto club, worked on the restoration in 1983.
"The first time, it was only the mechanic aspect because this was two very wonderful engines," he said. "So the first idea was to restore the engine. We put a new engine in the tank. After, we discovered there was a history around the tank. "
Howard said Tanks in Town is one of the largest gatherings of historically preserved armored fighting vehicles in the world."An event like Tanks in Town just doesn't happen. It's the result of a lot of hard work and organization," he said.
"Because of this unique contribution, the United States Armor Association headquartered in Fort Knox, Ky., and the home of U.S. armored forces have bestowed this special honor for Busine and Deghaye.
"Thousands of people can now see these beautifully restored vehicles and experience the sound of their engines and feel the rumble of their wake, and they can imagine what it must have looked like so many years ago," he added. "By doing this, they honor the veterans of the United States Army."
That is exactly what Busine and Deghaye intended to do all these years.
"Tanks in Town is to remember that 65 years ago young people who came from the States gave their lives for our freedom," said Deghaye. "Col. Howard, thanks again, but don't forget that to say thank you is our job. You don't have to say thank you to us. Your Soldiers paid too much for our liberty.