Veterans

November 13, 2013

Airmen, French community honor WWI aviators

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band plays during a Veteran’s Day Ceremony at the Lafayette Escadrille memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, France Nov. 11, 2013. Lafayette Escadrille was a French Air Service squadron during World War I comprised largely of volunteer American fighter pilots.

Representatives of the U.S. Air Force and the local French community came together to honor the members of Lafayette Escadrille during a Veterans Day ceremony in Marnes-la-Coquette, France, Nov. 11.

Lafayette Escadrille was a French Aviation Service squadron during World War I, comprised largely of volunteer American fighter pilots who were motivated to fight before the U.S. was officially at war.

During the ceremony’s opening remarks the Madam Mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette, Christiane Barody-Weiss, welcomed the city’s American friends “to honor and remember all those who gave their lives during the Great War, and among them, those who are resting in this memorial.”

These pioneer Airmen were among the first Americans to fight alongside the French since the two nations battled together for American independence 140 years earlier.

According to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s fact sheet, “shortly after the Escadrille Americaine went into action in April 1916, its exploits began to attract world-wide attention and other Americans became interested in flying for France.”

People listen to the closing remarks of a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Lafayette Escadrille memorial

Before the U.S. officially joined the First World War, more than 200 Americans, inspired to join the fight by Lafayette Escadrille, were trained by and flew for the French, fighting against the Central Powers of Europe in various squadrons.

The importance of the American and French aviators of Lafayette Escadrille was summed up by the Madam Mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette during the ceremony when she said, “peace, unity, freedom only exist at the cost of eternal vigilance. Therefore, we must never forget the tragic events that shook the world 100 years ago.”

Several organizations in attendance laid wreaths of flowers at the memorial to remember the fallen members of Lafayette Escadrille during the ceremony.

In closing her remarks, the Madam Mayor said, “let us keep alive the spirit which inspired the member of the Lafayette Escadrille and let us keep in mind Benjamin Franklin’s famous words, ‘those who give up an essential freedom for temporary safety, deserve neither freedom nor safety.'”

Members of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band tune up their instruments




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

VA expands disability benefits for AF personnel exposed to contaminated aircraft

The Department of Veterans Affairs June 18 published a new regulation that expands eligibility for some benefits for a select group of Air Force veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123 aircraft that had been used in Vietnam as part...
 
 

Soldier missing from World War II accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Feb. 16 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.  U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. John W. Herb of Cleveland, Ohio, was buried June 18, in...
 
 

VA campaign encourages public to help raise PTSD awareness

As the country recognizes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, the VA National Center for PTSD is inviting the public to participate in its “PTSD Awareness: June 2015” campaign, which began June 1. This year’s goal is to help more veterans, their families, caregivers and community members understand what PTSD is and know that there are...
 

 
Army photograph by SSgt. Opal Vaughn

U.S. paratroopers, WWII veterans pay homage to D-Day 71st anniversary

Army photograph by SSgt. Opal Vaughn U.S. Army veterans Cpl. George Shenkle, center right, of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and Sgt. Isaac Phillips, center left, of the 4th Infantry Division, sa...
 
 

VA launches community-based employment service for homeless veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced June 10 a new employment program aimed at helping job-ready Veterans exiting homelessness, and those on the brink of homelessness, gain stable and long-term employment. The new program, Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services, relies on Community Employment Coordinators who know their communities and can work with local employers to...
 
 

Arlington denies burial of guardsman killed in chopper crash

Arlington National Cemetery says a Louisiana National Guardsman who was killed in a helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico can’t be buried at the hallowed grounds because he was killed during a training exercise. The burial plots are only for service members who die on active duty and space is limited, the cemetery says....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>