1,500 schoolchildren carry the memory of the Landing, a rose in hand, for Memorial Day

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Editorial La Gazette de la Manche

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May 28, 2024 at 12:20 p.m.

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Memorial Day was celebrated this Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Montjoie-Saint-Martin American Cemetery, near Saint-James, in the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. In resonance with the festivities organized throughout Normandy to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Tribute to American soldiers

Memorial Day was born in 1882. It was made official in 1967. It is celebrated each year in the United States, on the last Monday of May, to pay tribute to all American soldiers who gave their lives during the different wars. This year, and unlike previous years, the ceremony was also scheduled for Monday and not Sunday.

The American cemetery of Montjoie-Saint-Martin has become a symbol. It is the strong symbol of the sacrifice of all these young American soldiers represented by these 4,410 graves as well as this memorial wall of 500 names whose bodies have not been found… This reminds us of the high price of freedom! The price they paid gives us the chance to be free today and watch our children grow up!

Maurice Duhamel, the mayor of Montjoie-Saint-Martin
As is tradition, this remembrance ceremony took place in the presence of representatives of the ABMC (American Battle Monuments Commission), partners, representatives of the American government, local representatives as well as military officials. ©La Gazette de la Manche

ABMC and the importance of transmission

The American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the United States federal government, manages and maintains cemeteries, memorials and commemorative plaques in 17 foreign countries. The American cemetery of Montjoie-Saint-Martin is one of them.

His goal ? Ensuring that these courageous men and women are never forgotten and that their stories are passed on to future generations.

And the children were very present this Monday 27th during Memorial Day. Future generations were indeed well represented at this memorial which closed an intense weekend of festivities on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Landings and the Liberation of Normandy.

After discovering the exhibition hall and the military camp on the fairground this Monday morning, around 1,500 students from schools in the South Channel left by shuttle to participate in this traditional ceremony honoring the memory of all these young Americans who shed their blood… All these young people who sacrificed themselves to defend our nation.

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1,500 school and college children decorated the graves of American soldiers on Memorial Day at the Montjoie-Saint-Martin cemetery. ©La Gazette de la Manche

1,500 white roses

Armed with a white rose and guided by their teacher, each of them went to sit quietly near one of the graves of American soldiers killed in France during the Second World War.

“Our children, thank you for being by our side,” continued the mayor of Montjoie. You are the witnesses today and the actors of tomorrow. Also, we are counting on you to maintain the memory and carry the message of recognition in honor of these fighters so that we can live in peace. »

The children upon their arrival at the cemetery.
The children, wearing black pants and white t-shirts, received a white cap, bearing the insignia of the 80th anniversary of the Landing. Each was placed in front of a stele during the hour and a quarter that the ceremony lasted. ©La Gazette de la Manche

And to conclude: “To the people of the United States, we extend respect, brotherhood and friendship in this fragile democracy, which the news reminds us of every day. »

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