Exhibition at St Mere Eglise

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Paul Reed, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I had this via email today:


    Exceptional event at SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE from May 29 to June 13, 2004.
    On more than 2.000 m2, at the southern entrance of the town, next to the Hotel Sainte-Mere.

    For the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, the Way We Were Foundation and the City of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, with the collaboration of the International Center of Photography, NY, the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, Ft. Bragg and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville present an exhibition dedicated to Sainte-Mere-Eglise and its liberators.

    Sainte-Mere-Eglise at the time of WWII was a small French village that no one ever heard of. The activities of D-Day and "The Longest Day" a later famous Hollywood movie would launch it to the rank of one the most world known village of Europe.
    The men who were to liberate this village were all of a special brand, they were the Paratroopers.

    The Way We Were Foundation will offer through a display of artifacts, memorabilia and documents related to Ste-Mere-Eglise, the 505th PIR of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 506th PIR of the 101st Airborne Division, the opportunity to be brought back to that time in an attempt to understand the mindset of this Greatest Generation.

    The event has the purpose of paying respect, giving honor and saying thank you to that generation. It has the ambition to show the visitors of Normandy who were those men known as the Greatest Generation and the valor they carried. Born in USA in the 1920's, the Greatest Generation was raised during the depression of 1929. As in its 20's it suddenly found itself enrolled in the US Army who trained it to be a fearless warriors who was to defeat the evil menacing democratical valor and interests.

    Expressing a memorial to a generation of ordinary people who were thrown into uncommon and extraordinary situations and circumstances and performed admirably is one of our goals. Show to the public who they were, is another.

    The center piece of the exhibit will be a men, Col. Ben Vandervoort, that has been given by his country one of its highest decoration with a cluster of oak leaves upon it, and was in 1990 elevated to the rank of National Hero. While the Army decided to honor one officer from each of the United States nation's wars for outstanding combat service; the Center for Army Leadership US Army Command and General Staff College recognize Colonel Vandervoort for the World War II period. He is much better know to the general public after having been portrayed by John Wayne in the famous epic the "Longest Day".

    Several other paratroopers will be honored in this display and memorabilia from regular front line paratroopers to "famous brass" will be presented. This includes Generals Ridgway and Gavin, Colonels Ekman, Piper, McIlvoy, to name only a few from the 82nd, but also from Capt. Dick Winters, commander of the well-known "Band of Brothers".
    These are real people, who were the actors of the most significant events in the history of the last century. Some of the people are famous, other are not, but all reflect a story of devotion linked to an emotional event.

    Around the exhibition structure, two British living history groups will recreate front line paratroops every day's life. Veterans will be signing books and meeting the public.

    The 60th anniversary will certainly be the last event in Europe that would see the participation of the Greatest Generation. They are not just old men. They are a beautiful and vibrant young men, trapped in an old and decaying body, tempered and forged with an extraordinary life experience and that have certainly lived the most exciting years of all. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of history, visit us at Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

    For more info, please check www.d-day-publishing.be

    Emmanuel ALLAIN

    EMAIL: Emallain@aol.com
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique


    STEVEN Senior Member

    I was fortunate enough to visit St.Mere Eglise in 1998,beautiful little village.i spent an absolute age at the nearby museum,well recomended.

    The Only quibble i've got,and only a small one at that.Is do they really need to hang a plastic paratrooper from the bell tower !!.Does anyone know if they still do that ??.

    Steven :huh:
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Yes, it's still there, but only for part of the year as the winter weather isn't very kind to it, so they take it down!

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by STEVEN@Feb 23 2004, 01:26 PM
    The Only quibble i've got,and only a small one at that.Is do they really need to hang a plastic paratrooper from the bell tower !!.
    Well, it's a good attraction for the tourists! (and based on historical fact - it represents John Steele of the 505 P.I.R. who got snagged on the steeple during the landings).

    I'd be pretty impressed if my local church hung a replica 82nd Airborne para on the steeple, anyway!!! :lol:

  6. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by STEVEN@Feb 23 2004, 06:26 PM
    The Only quibble i've got,and only a small one at that.Is do they really need to hang a plastic paratrooper from the bell tower !!.Does anyone know if they still do that ??.

    Steven :huh:
    It must have been 1995 when I went there. I agree. Talk about tacky!

    And, yes, we know it is based on a real event, as I guess we all sae the movie. I can't speak for anyone else, but when I see something decked out as a tourist trap, I want to run for cover. Which is what we did - drove in, saw it, drove straight back out again and went for a nice walk along Utah beach.

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