Amis des Vétérans Américains
Friends of American Veterans
Dear friends of the AVA,
In these uncertain times, it seems useful to me to give you an update on the June commemorations. As for the American military, they have planned to come in numbers and for the 82nd Airborne with important airborne means for the parachuting.
Several high-ranking generals have confirmed their arrival. The problem is that they depend on the authorizations of the French authorities and that the US embassy in Paris has not yet been able to confirm anything. So we are in a fog. Obviously if we go back to the catastrophic situation of June 2020 it would be a big blow.
Let’s remain optimistic ! We are organizing :
Friday June 4th ceremonies at our two monuments on the square: The Alexandre Renaud stele and the Airborne monument between 16h00 and 17h00 The banquet that we had planned for the same day seems to us very compromised considering the restrictions sanitary restrictions in closed places. We had to cancel as well our usual cocktail party at the city hall .
Saturday, June 5 at 4:00 pm Memorial Service in the church with the 82nd Airborne choir and the exceptional participation of the 40 officers’ choir of Saint Cyr Coëtquidan ( French equivalent to .West Point ).
Sunday June 6 at La Fière Parachuting and Ceremony (time to be specified) In addition to the Americans, General Collet confirmed the presence of 100 French paratroopers, including a large contingent from Saint Cyr.
General Assembly: We have already had to cancel the planned meeting twice. Now we are aiming for a date after June 6.
Moreover I would like to indicate two ceremonies to which you are invited:
Thursday, June 3, organized by Mrs. Marie Pascale Legrand and in the presence of the Native American veteran Charles Shay inauguration of the Memorial of the C 47 which went down on the territory of Caponnet (near la Fière ) in the night of the 5 to 6 with its paratroopers of the 101st Airborne on board. The ceremony starts at 3:00 pm.
Saturday June 5, inauguration in Sainte Marie du Mont of a monument in homage to the French Resistance. This monument is due to the initiative of Captain Joey Ivanov of the US Special Forces with the participation of Mrs. Cathy Soref of Operation Democracy and Colonel Andy Anderson, our ambassador to the US military. Ceremony from 11:00 to 12:00 .
US Paratroopers Memorial Site – Iron Mike.
If you had been there recently, you would have noticed the excellent maintenance and new plantings we have done there. We need to repair some of the damage done to the Iron Mike base over the winter.
It was with great surprise and pride that I recently learned that the Embassy and the US military have classified Pointe du Hoc (as a World Heritage Site.) and our Iron Mike site as the TWO emblematic sites of the landing.
For your information, I would like to remind you that the AVA association is since the beginning the only owner of the site and the organizer and builder of all the monuments and plaques that are there.
We bear the entire financial burden of its maintenance, which amounts to about 4000 euros each year. In 2020 and 2021 we received a donation of 2500 dollars from our friends of the American Legion. Donations that have helped us a lot.
As you know the American Legion and the town hall of Sainte Mere Eglise have signed a charter with us. This charter has nothing to do with the property. It was established to ensure the preservation of this historic site in the future.
Once we will have joined the paradise of the parachutists.
Of course we are honored to host the official ceremony on the day of the parachute drop on our Memorial site each year.
Sainte Mère Eglise, April 13th 2021
With kind regards