LEST WE EVER FORGET
Quarantine won't stop us from remembering the fallen on Memorial Day
Memorial Day will be different this year. There may not be any large gatherings or services in France but we can still honor the men and women who lost their lives defending our freedoms.
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.
Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Democrats Abroad France will be sending wreaths to be laid by the cemetery staff during small ceremonies around the country: Lafayette Monument and in Suresnes, Belleau Wood, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne. In the Tarn, flowers will be laid at the graves of the two OSS Commandos downed during WWII.
Wreaths will also be laid at the graves of those who died during World War I:
At the Lafayette Monument, Carter Ovington, a pilot who was downed and was never recovered will be remembered. He has a tomb in the crypt but is special in that he is M.I.A.
At Suresnes, Private Mitchell Davis will be remembered. A Howard University Law Graduate and one of the Afro-American soldiers who died during the “Spanish Flu” pandemic in 1918, he wrote a book entitled "One Hundred Choice Quotations" by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race:
"Through avalanches of prejudices; industrial barriers; professional intrigues; legal technicalities; diplomatic effronteries, and political buffetings, the American Negro has, at last arrived before the public eye, as a factor not easily to be evaded."
- One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race, 1917 by Mitchell Davis
At Belleau Wood, PVT Hercules Grays from the 369th Infantry Regiment also known as the “Harlem hellfighters” will be remembered. You can find more information on this unit here.
Another Afro-American, Private William Cuff will be honored at Oise-Asne. He is a recipient (Posthumous) of the American Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star.
Also, consider posting pictures on social media of those you wish to honor and remember on Memorial Day. Or, ask those who were going to participate in a service to share a message from their home.