2007- Omaha Beach
A “HUMAN CHAIN” OF GRATITUDE
A TRIBUTE TO AMERICA ON OMAHA BEACH
Saturday, June 30th 2007
In the spirit of our mission statement, “The French Will Never Forget” (a not for profit organization) is launching a new project scheduled for Independence Day 2007.
Our goal is, once again, to demonstrate the deep respect and gratitude of the people of France for America's sacrifices during the Second World War.
Given the very large size of this massive endeavor, we have decided to team up with “Collectif Respect,” a French association which shares our values and which will help make our new event an even larger success.
Below you will find a detailed outline of our latest project. We believe this will be one of the most successful demonstrations of our stated desire to enhance the friendship and communication between the French and American people. We are expecting a large participation in this event. .
On June 30, 2007, we will join together with thousands of French people on the famous Omaha Beach, in Normandy, France to pay our respect to the fallen American war heroes who came to our rescue.
The participants assembled on the beach will form a human chain of letters and spell out the following words as a huge message from the French people on one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the American people on the other side. The message will say:
FRANCE WILL NEVER FORGET THANK YOU AMERICA
The site of Omaha Beach was chosen not only for its history, but also because of its symbolism. The beach is located nearby the main American cemetery where hundreds of American soldiers who died in this war have been laid to rest. More soldiers were killed in one single day on this beach during the famous D-Day attack, on June 6, 1944, than in any other location in France.
The whole event (which will be rehearsed and choreographed one month before) will be filmed on June 30, 2007 both from the sky in a helicopter and on the ground as a documentary of the making of the event. It will be aired on the Fourth of July 2007, Independence Day, by major television and newspaper media in the United States, France, and other countries (in 2003, over 125 US and French TV channels reported on our honoring with a rose each of the 60 522 graves of all US soldiers fallen in France).
Symbolically, that period also corresponds to the 250th anniversary of General Lafayette's birthday.
Following the filming there will be a gathering on Omaha Beach for all the participants and local population. We feel this will only enhance the day by bringing people together and celebrating the respect and friendship between our two countries.
We ask for your generous support in this endeavor and hope that many of you will decide to join us on Omaha Beach to participate in the actual event. As you know, at our first event in July, 2003, French children, townspeople, and soldiers all showed their respect to America by laying a single red rose on the graves of every one of the 60,522 American soldiers who died during World War I and II and were buried in France. Our second event was also a tremendous success. In 2004, with the help of others as well, we enabled 100 United States war veterans to travel to France to be awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France. Without your financial support and your dedication, we could never have made any of these major events as hugely successful as they have been. We are deeply grateful for your continued support and thank you for it.
This program is one of the very few grassroots organizations to be working to successfully cement the relationship between the French and the Americans. Your continued financial support is very important and we hope you will find it in your heart to support us generously once again this year to make this event possible. We hope to thank America once again, albeit in a small way, for the sacrifice they made for France and which no one can or will ever forget.
The US Committee
Jean-Pierre Heim, Paul Bensabat, Patrick du Tertre, Christian Millet
Co-Presidents and founders
The French Committee
Jean-Pierre Heim, Anne Colombe de la Taille, Emmanuel de la Taille
Omaha Beach Committee 2007: Olivier Brane, Jacques Noël Bilet.
Donations and Checks Made Payable to:
THE FRENCH WILL NEVER FORGET
101 Park Avenue
Hoboken, NJ 07030 – USA