DA France-VMF Caucus participated in France's National Deportation Remembrance Day in Paris on April 21st. The invitation was in recognition of the Americans who were deported from France, in most cases because of their involvement with the French Resistance during WWII. About 150,000 people were deported from France during WWII. Over 100,000 never came back.
The first part of the ceremony took place at the Shoah Memorial, a WWII Holocaust Museum opened in 2005 with survivors’ testimonies on videos, explanatory documents, archives, a teaching center and the Mur des déportés, marble walls with all the victims’ names inscribed.
An army band then led the attendees through the streets of Paris to the emotionally moving ceremony at the Deportation Martyrs Memorial behind Notre Dame Cathedral. Poems, speeches, including one by a 97-year old deportee who wore a jacket from his WWII concentration camp, an army chorale, and then the lighting of the flame, all outside in beautiful pomp and ceremony.
The third ceremony took place at the Arc de Triomphe where the DAF-VMF Caucus, represented by Karen Kenny and Tilly Gaillard, participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.
Written by Tilly Gaillard