Bitterman.jpgCNN Senior European Correspondent Jim Bittermann has received France’s highest decoration.

In a ceremony last night, the Paris-based Bittermann was made ‘Chevalier’ (knight) of the National Order of the Legion of Honor. His medal was awarded by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

“For the past 30 years,” Bittermann is quoted in a CNN press release, “I’ve been explaining France and the French to the rest of the world.”

“Founded in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize outstanding accomplishment,” the press release states, “the chevalier is given annually to around 3,500 Frenchmen and women — but few non-nationals….

“In the field of American television journalism, he joins Pierre Salinger from ABC, who received his honor in 1978. In this year’s Honor’s list, he is one of only two Americans, and of 13 foreigners, to be so honored.”

The internal memo from CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton, after the jump…

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