Normandy is preparing for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
In order to unite all the tourist actors in Normandy around a common goal of transmission, and the transition from remembrance tourism to history tourism, the Normandy Region is now making the logo of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings available.
“In order for Normans, and all those who wish to do so, to be part of this anniversary, a logo dedicated to the 80th has been created to promote the many commemorative projects and events to come.
The 80th anniversary logo is freely available to all “ambassadors” (individuals or companies) who wish to show their sense of welcome and their attachment to Normandy by relaying and associating themselves with the events of the 80th anniversary (local authorities, tourist offices, hoteliers, shopkeepers, etc.).
By using the 80th logo, you agree to respect the rules of use and the associated graphic charter.”
We look forward to seeing you in 2024 in Normandy!
Credit : https://www.normandie.fr/80e-anniversaire-du-debarquement-en-normandie
Denis van den Brink publishes a book retracing his history, to be found at In Octavo Editions
The exceptional testimony of a hundred-year-old American veteran!
I don’t know if this modest book really does justice to the man Tom Rice is. He personifies and
He personifies and embodies in the most beautiful way the GI of the Second World War, this “Greatest Generation” dear to the heart of the Americans.
Descendant of French immigrants, he could have, like his fellow citizens of Italian, German, Polish, Greek origin… lost interest in the endless European conflicts. But his ancestors had left everything behind 160 years earlier to build a better life in America, free of all ideology and less affected, they hoped, by injustice.
It was this American dream, this ideal of a life based on the realization of one’s potential and intimate dreams that Tom and his millions of comrades spontaneously wanted to defend in 1941. Even if it meant sacrificing 3 years of his youth. Even if it means experiencing the terrible fury and blood of a devastating and merciless war. Even if it meant risking death or mutilation.
He came back, mute on his sufferings, deaf to his past, and totally turned towards the future. Is it the harshness of a childhood lived in the heart of the Great American Depression, is it the merciless selection to become a paratrooper, is it the conviction that life is fragile and must be lived happily from day to day, that makes Tom Rice this rock of optimism and good humor?
In any case, he remains an inspiration and an example, as do all his brothers in arms.
Denis van den Brink
It is at the invitation of the Mayor of Meierijstad, Province of Brabant in the Netherlands, Mr. Kees van Rooij, that Jean Pierre Lhonneur, Mayor of Carentan les Marais, accompanied by Sébastien Lesné, attended all weekend the commemorations of the Operation Market Garden, which marked the beginning of the liberation of the Netherlands on September 17, 1944. This airborne operation, at the time the most important of all times, was led by the famous 101st American Airborne Division, the same one that a few months earlier, in June 1944, liberated Carentan.
“This is the first time that an elected official from Carentan has attended the Dutch commemorations,” explained Jean Pierre Lhonneur. “The municipality of Meierijstad, which encompasses the historic municipalities of Veghel and Eerde, shares the same historical heritage as Carentan-les-Marais, celebrating each year the same soldiers, the same veterans, the same American units that distinguished themselves during the liberation of our city. It was only natural that we should forge ties with Meierijstad, which thanks and honors our liberators with the same fervor as we do every year.”
Inauguration of the milestone of the Liberation Route, commemorations at the Geronimo monument dedicated to the 501st parachute regiment in Eerde, museum visits, Jean Pierre Lhonneur and Sébastien Lesné have been be able to exchange with their Dutch counterparts throughout the weekend, particularly on the issues of remembrance tourism, and on possible exchanges with young people from Normandy.
“We are meeting here with the same officers of the 101st Airborne that we welcomed in Carentan. The 101st is really the cement that unites us with our Dutch friends, who have shown us great friendship and whom we have very spontaneously invited to come and see our celebrations next June,” concludes Sébastien Lesné.
American WWII veteran Thomas M. Rice, a paratrooper with the 501st Parachute InfantryRegiment of the 101st Airborne, turns 100 years old today. His hometown of Coronado, California, and the huge military community at the US Navy Base in San Diego, are joining efforts to celebrate this hero.
They are not alone. The city of Carentan les Marais in Normandy – France also wishes to thank its 1944 liberator. An imposing portrait was displayed to that effect on the Place de la République in Carentan as a tribute to this great American friend.
Tom had, as we remember, marked many spirits by renewing, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the D day landing, his jump of June 1944 on the edge of Carentan. Tom Rice’s adventures and peregrinations in Normandy in 1944, while commanding a mortar squad, are indelibly associated with Carentan. Tom was one of the three men in charge of the patrol on the night of June 6-7, guarding the south bank of the Douve River at the La Barquette locks. A few days later, it was in the Billonnerie sector that Tom stood his ground against SS Grenadiers.
Tom’s attachment to Normandy and Carentan was, however, slow to come to light. As he wrote in his memoirs of the Battle of Normandy (Trial by Combat), Tom had long been convinced that the French did not like the American soldiers who had caused so much destruction. «We ate all their chickens and destroyed their homes,» he said. On the eve of the 75th anniversary, Jean Pierre Lhonneur, Mayor of Carentan les Marais, suggested that Tom come and see for himself the extent of the gratitude of the Normans. Deeply touched, Tom now claims loud and clear his French lineage. He is indeed the direct descendant of Marie Catherine Avaligne and Pierre Serrot, two emigrants who left Tracy le Mont in Oise in 1791 to create the town of Gallipoli, Ohio. Tom now dreams of only one thing, to return to Carentan in 2022 for his 101st birthday to celebrate his glorious 101st Airborne with a new jump.