Memorial Day is the time we set aside to reflect together as one grateful nation and to recognize that we are blessed to live free because others freely laid their lives down for us. Most of us, however, are unaware that tens of thousands of our fallen heroes remain buried in the soil of nations they fought to free. Over at Watchdog Arena, Carine Martinez has published a poignant article describing how one French town continues to celebrate memorial day and honor the American soldiers who died to free them.
“Every year by the end of May, two flags with red, white, and blue colors line up the streets of Suresnes, a town in the outskirts of Paris. Like two old friends standing side by side, the flags of the United States and France are there to remind inhabitants of the long friendship between the two countries. They are raised together in remembrance of what it meant, for the United States and Americans, to stand by their friend and ally, France. They are raised for Memorial Day.
“The town of Suresnes has a population of a little less than 50,000 and is located about 6 miles west of the center of Paris. It is also home to an American cemetery.
The Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War I and World War II cemetery. It covers 7 ½ acres of land, and was first “established at the end of World War I. There is a total of 1,541 graves of World War I military service members, and 24 graves of unknown World War II military service members. Among the deceased buried in the cemetery are a pair of brothers and a pair of sisters. The cemetery is overlooking the city of Lights, as if the fallen soldiers were still watching over Paris.
“Although less known than the Normandy cemeteries, the Suresnes cemetery welcomes visitors all year long, and a particularly moving ceremony is held on Memorial Day. France does not celebrate Memorial Day. The town of Suresnes does.
“The ceremony is hosted and organized by the cemetery and the American Battle Monuments Commission, along with the town of Suresnes. American and French people, including veterans, as well as government representatives of the town and the region, come to pay tribute to the young American military service members who paid with their life the price of our liberty.”
It is entirely worth clicking over and reading the whole thing.
Carine Martinez is currently a policy analyst with Texas Public Policy Action focusing primarily on economic and tax policy.