|End of ceremony -- all the flowers laid|
AARO did not present a flower piece this year; we made a contribution to the association for the restoration of the monument. Mr. Blumrosen, president of the association announced that this restoration will be completed by April, 2016, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Escadrille. Not only will the monument be cleaned up on the outside, the crypt will also have some work done on it. The Memorial is not just the monument; it's the whole park, and there will be other work done on the site. (For more on the history of the Escadrille, see wikipedia, in English, or in French.)
It's always a moving ceremony. Some parts are always the same: the military bands playing behind the monument where you can't see them; the same, excellent, master of ceremony; the flyover, which we could see this year since it wasn't raining and the cloud cover was high; many of the same speakers, including the mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette, who, each year, delivers a different speech in French and in English, and each one is pertinent and moving; the generals; the person from the US embassy, the Deputy Chief of Mission this year and who spoke in French. As much as it is always the same, it is not boring, at all; it's moving. This year, with current events in Africa and the Middle East being what they are, I found the speeches even more moving; the speakers brought together the motivations and actions of the volunteers of 1916 and those of our military forces today.
|We could see the flyover this year -- |
4 Mirage 2000N