‘We know how it feels’: French couple who gave medals to Russian hero’s family to join V-Day march

President Vladimir Putin has invited a French couple that gave their family’s World War II medals to the relatives of a Russian officer killed in an operation in Palmyra to Moscow’s Victory Day Parade. They will also march in the Immortal Regiment.

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The Magues, who came to Russia to meet the parents of Aleksander Prokhorenko, the deceased Russian hero, will watch the Victory Day Parade on Moscow’s Red Square and carry a photo of a family member that fought for peace during World War II in a march known as the Immortal Regiment, they said in an interview with RT.

Describing the meeting with Prokhorenko’s parents, the couple unanimously said it was “very emotional.”

“His family couldn’t utter a word because of tears. It was very emotional,” Michelin Mague told RT’s Daniel Bushel while on a stroll in a Moscow park.

“We know how it feels to lose your son who’s far away. That’s why we gave those medals to them. We lost our son as well, though not in the same circumstances. It’s wrong when children die before their parents,” Jean-Claude Mague said.

When asked about the upcoming Victory Day Parade, the couple said that it would be a great honor to be on Red Square on May 9, adding that they have also prepared everything they need to participate in the march of the Immortal Regiment.

At this point, Michelin took out an aged photo of a young and handsome man standing in the middle of a street. The man turned out to be her uncle, who also was in the war. Both spouses are looking forward to walking along Moscow’s streets while holding up his picture, along with thousands of Russians.

The couple was outraged that almost no information on Prokhorenko’s act of heroism was to be found on French media outlets. In an effort to somehow ease the parents’ pain, Jean-Claude and Michelin sent them their family’s medal of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and War Cross with Bronze Palm Leaf as a sign of deep sympathy.

The example set by the Magues was soon followed by another French national, Daniel Couture, who sent his father’s Legion d’Honneur medal to Russia.

Twenty-five-year-old Aleksandr Prokhorenko served as an officer in the Russian special forces, guiding warplanes to terrorist targets in Syria. While on a mission near the ancient city of Palmyra, Prokhorenko was surrounded by Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL) jihadists. Instead of yielding to the enemy, however, he called an airstrike in on himself.

A two-day farewell ceremony for the slain soldier was held in Russia this week. He was buried in his home village next to his grandparents on Friday.