Set in Normandy stone
The American Legion has gained a share of proprietorship at a memorial site in Normandy, France, that pays tribute to the battle to secure La Fière Bridge in the earliest stages of the June 1944 D-Day invasion.
The property is owned by a local group called Amis des Vétérans Américains (AVA), or Friends of American Veterans, and is maintained by the City of Sainte Mère Église.
On June 4, a ceremony marked the new arrangement. The pact between the Legion, AVA and the city requires the written consent of all three bodies before the property – which has an Iron Mike statue gazing over the Merderet River valley – can be sold or used for any purpose other than honor for those who fought here in World War II.
« May our commitment never waver », National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said at the ceremony. « May new generations always understand, long after we are gone, what took place here in 1944 and why this memorial landscape must be kept as it is today : a place of reverence. »
– Jeff Stoffer