News & Events

We are pleased to announce that John “Mike” Kunnen ’42 has been appointed a “Chevalier” (Knight) of the Legion of Honor for his combat efforts in France as a member of the 709th Tank Battalion during the Second World War. Elder High School hosted the knighting ceremony on July 18 at Elder's Schaeper Center.  The Elder Glee Club Ensemble sang the National Anthem of both the United States and France.  Honored guests and ceremony participants include United States Representative Steve Chabot, Ohio State Representative Lou Terhar, Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn, and Colonel Timothy Gorrell, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

Over the years, Mike has been an active member of the Elder family having served twice as president of the Pant-E-Grad, which predated the Dad’s Club, director and president of the Elder Welfare Association in the 1960’s, and director of the Elder Alumni Association for several terms.   The French Legion d’honneur or “Legion of Honor” is an order of distinction first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May of 1802. It is the highest decoration bestowed in France.  Decoration of American veterans as a Knight of the Legion of Honor is a way for France to pay tribute to those veterans who risked their lives defending liberty on French soil. Other prominent American veteran recipients include Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Michael Mullen and Bob Zwick, Elder Class of 1943.  We offer our sincere and warmest congratulations to Mike for this honor!

Click here to view video of Mike recounting his days from serving in WWII.
These segments were taken from a larger history project created in 2006 by then Elder teacher Mr. Tim Darnell and his students.