May 21, 2014

Don’t Leave Your Holidays Back Home: Memorial Day Activities In France

Memorial Day weekend:  That time of the year when people are busy enjoying great-weather picnics, adventure-filled camping trips, and lively family gatherings.  But really, that’s not what this American holiday is actually about.  Three-day weekend aside, Memorial Day (observed on the last Monday in May) was created to honor all of the men and women who have died fighting for our freedom and democracy while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  

Lorraine American Cemetery
photo courtesy of AODMA
From WWI and WWII, there are thousands of American soldiers buried in cemeteries throughout France. Celebrate Memorial Day in France by paying your respects at the following events.

The American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) website lists all of the ceremonies taking place in France this year.  The American Battle Monuments Commission lists all of the Memorial Day events and also the ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  

Memorial Day Ceremonies

Saturday, May 24, 2014:
  • Memorial de l'Escadrille Lafayette at Marnes-la-Coquette :  11h00.
Sunday, May 25, 2014:
  1. American Legion Mausoleum - New Cemetery of Neuilly 10h00
  2. The American Church of Paris  - Annual Memorial Day Service  10h00
  3. Arc de Triomphe, Paris – American Legion & AOMDA 18h30

Ceremonies in American Military Cemeteries:
  1. Aisne-Marne, Belleau, (3,000 individuals buried)   – 9h45
  2. Epinal, (6,000 individuals buried)   – 15h00
  3. Lorraine, Saint Avold, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 11h00
  4. Meuse-Argonne, Romagne sur Montfaucon, (15,000 individuals buried)   - 11h00
  5. Normandy, Colleville sur Mer, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 10h30
  6. Oise-Aine, Seringes et Nesle, (6,000 individuals buried)  - 15h00
  7. Rhone, Draguignan, (1,000 individuals buried)   -  10h00
  8. Saint Mihiel, Thiaucourt, (4,000 individuals buried)   - 16h00
  9. Suresnes, (2,500 individuals buried)   - 14h30
  10. Somme, Bony, (2,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00)     

Monday, May 26, 2014:
  • Brittany American Cemetery, Saint James, (5,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00

photo courtesy of AODMA

D-Day Commemoration
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.  The following list of information about the ceremonies to commemorate this event.

  1. The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy (info & events)
  2. The American Chamber of Commerce in France and The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union are organizing the Freedom and SolidarityForum on June 4-5, 2014.
  3. Normandy American Cemetery, bi-national ceremony, June 6, 2014.
    • American wishing to attend the ceremony must email the US Embassy to register.