Memorial Day 2019

Lest We Forget

Democrats Abroad France participated in wreath-laying ceremonies across France on Sunday, May 26th to remember and honour the soldiers who gave their lives to protect our freedom. 

Fred Hoffman, a Democrats Abroad France member, shared some of his thoughts after attending the ceremony in Suresnes:

"I’ve lived in Paris for 30 years, and this was the first time that I visited the Suresnes Cemetery, and the first time that I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at an American military cemetery in France. I must admit that it was long overdue, and that I was extremely glad that I was able to attend and have this experience. I believe that it is extremely important to continue this tradition of honouring our soldiers who perished defending our country, and also to continue these joint commemorations (USA and France) to demonstrate that the alliance between these 2 countries continues to be strong after all of these years.

This cemetery is located in a very quiet and peaceful area of Suresnes with a magnificent view. It is extremely well-kept and protected. The ceremony was quite well-organised and included many different dignitaries and leaders from local, at-large, military and ex-pat communities. I thought that that there was a very balanced representation of officials.

What also struck me was the diversity of the people attending the ceremony…young and old, military and non-military, a diverse audience of all colors and ethnicities, gay, straight, and a large presence of the Scouts!!

There were many wreaths laid representing many different groups honouring the fallen and unknown soldiers. After the ceremony, the attendees were allowed to roam through the cemetery and lay flowers. It was very peaceful and everyone was respectful of this sacred place. The weather was beautiful, some sun and not too hot, which also made the experience an enjoyable one.

I will end by saying that I was extremely glad that I attended, and am grateful that opportunities like these are proposed by Democrats Abroad. As an ex-pat, it allowed me to participate in a ceremony honouring our military during Memorial Day weekend, even though I was thousands of miles away from the USA. And it also was very touching to see the wonderful collaboration between the American and French military and dignitaries, and the recognition of the Americans contributions to the 2 wars by the French."

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Here are photos shared from ceremonies at military cemeteries in Suresnes (Ile de France), Epinal and St. Avoid (Lorraine), Argonne and St Mihiel (Meuse) and St. James in Brittany, as well as the commemoration ceremony held at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.


In Paris at the Arc de Triomphe, DA France Chair Ada Shen was accompanied by members and veterans.

At the Suresnes Military Cemetery in Ile de France, DA France Vice Chair Jonathon Holler, accompanied member Beth Herwood. Special thanks to Fred Hoffman for sharing his photos of the day.

Strasbourg Chapter Chair Barbara Wells with former Chair Susan Vaillant at Epinal and Chapter Vice Chair Patrick Ganne at the St. Avoid Cemetery.

Voting Representative Anna Marie Mattson with service men and women and veterans at the Meuse Argonne and St Mihiel Cemeteries.

A wreath from Democrats Abroad France Brittany Chapter was among the many wreaths at St. James in Brittany.


Thank you to Anna Marie Mattson, DAFrance Voting Representative, who organised our participation in the many events that took place today. Our participation in these wreath-laying ceremonies is an important and moving tradition for Democrats Abroad France each year. 🇺🇸