The speeches were excellent. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. I especially appreciated hearing the mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette, Mme. Barody-Weiss, again. As she did last year, she gave two different, but similar speeches in French and English. One is not the translation of the other. The texts she quotes from are different, but you can tell that time was spent finding texts with similar messages and composing the two speeches. The US Ambassador was represented by the excellent Chargé d'Affaires, Mr. Mark Taplin. In fact, we still do not have an ambassador, here, in France, since Mr. Rivkin left. He, Mr. Taplin, spoke movingly about 100 years ago, in May, how no one was really expecting war, but the world wasn't dormant, how quickly the young men of this group switched gears from whatever they were doing to join the French forces. Would we (or rather the young people of today, 16, 17, 18 years old) do the same? After all, we are not at war, but the world is not dormant.
There were other fine speeches and the ceremony was not boring, nor did it seem like anyone was itching to leave because of the rain.
Here are some photos from the day:
|Flowers from AARO|
|The US Air Force color guard, arriving|
|After the speeches.. That's me, behind the speaker, laying down the cushion of flowers from AARO|
|The US Air Force color guard, departing|