Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Normandy-Day / D-Day's worldwide picnic

This year marks the 69th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, which was the major turning point of WWII in Europe. Early in the morning of June 6, 1944, the largest military operation in history began as 135,000 Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy, to begin the liberation of Europe, and change the course of history. With Normandy Day, l'Ecole Française du Maine expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifice of so many for today's freedom. L'Ecole Francaise du Maine was the first American school to officially participate in this event two years ago and has partnered with Normandy Day organization in France which provided the school with the official table cloths.

"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944