After a pleasantly warm last end of winter, we had a chilly and rainy beginning of spring.
Sunday, May 30, was the day Americans in France were invited to celebrate Memorial Day, since it is not a French holiday and Monday is not a day off. It was a glorious morning -- blue sky, blazing sun. Paul and I drove to Marnes-la-Coquette to attend the ceremony at the Mémorial de l'Escadrille Lafayette once again. Since I was representing AARO, even though we had not sent a wreath, we were in the widely spaced seats just in front of the monument. There were only 30 seats this year because of Covid-19 restrictions still in effect, here. Masks are still de rigueur, even outdoors, too. As usual it was a lovely ceremony, shorter than usual. It started at 10:30 with a flyover of four jets (2 Rafales from the Escadrille Lafayette based in the south of France and 2 U.S. planes from Utah). The mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette gave her two distinct speeches, one in French, the other in English. The Chargée d'Affaires, Brian Aggeler, spoke on behalf of the Embassy, but the French and American generals did not speak this year. There was a tiny honor guard, no live music for the national anthems and taps. The speeches were followed by the presentation of the wreaths -- not as many as usual. The event was over by 11. Still, I wouldn't have missed it. It's an honor and a pleasure to attend.
The books ("Unmute Yourself, Girlfriend"), arrived! The release date was supposed to be July 4, but they sent out advance copies. There are a few glitches in these advance copies and the publisher is replacing them with the final edition, or so I've been told. When I've got confirmation that the glitches are history, I'll repost the link to order. The ones I've ordered are for my kids.