Memorial Day 2004

Gene Cohan USA Veteran our guest for Memorial Day

  The New Monument on Omaha Beach, represents peace and Brotherhood

This year, because of the importance of the 60th Anniversary and because of the events of the D-day weekend, the American ceremony and the Association of the Flowers of the Memory ( a French group who put flowers on American graves in Normandy) held a combined event.    As always the sun shone on the estimated 6,000 people who attended. We first attended a short religious service held by an Army Chaplain, much like those who were here 60 years ago would have. A fly past by R10 planes who performed the missing man routine started the main event. Then the French and American national anthems were played followed by speeches by both French and American dignitaries.      Leading the Americans was Gary Clements from the Us Consulate in Rennes, and the address was given by Lt. John B. Sylvester Chief of Staff of the American Forces in Europe. The French delegation was led by Mr Didier Cultiaux and the local Mayor Patrick Thomines. The music was provided by the French Infantry Marine band, who are the only French band to incorporate bagpipes into the band. The ceremony ended with members of the Association de Les Fleurs de la Mémoire laying flowers on the graves that already had been dressed with both the American and French flags.

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