Memorial Day: The French-American Connection


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I try to keep tract of the most important “remembering” dates of the countries where I lived  beside sending traditional New Year Greetings.

For the Americans,  Memorial Day is very important and as a French, who lived about 6 years in the USA, I also feel thankful for Americans who have died to free France in WWI and WWII.

I also celebrate the 4th of July as a French. Few people know the decisive role of the French army played for  the Independence of the United States of America. The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory for  General George Washington helped by the French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau over the  British Army.

Being an expat,  I try to learn  the true meaning of  local  celebrations and  discover  reasons for being  emotionally connected to my host country.

As an expat, do you know the meaning of national celebrations ?

2 thoughts on “Memorial Day: The French-American Connection

  1. Karen Lindquist May 31, 2010 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Many years ago when I first moved from the US to Europe, I was very surprised on May 5th when my doorbell rang. My older Dutch neighbors were bringing me flowers for Liberation Day, on the assumption that my family must have contributed somehow. They shared their stories of occupation, hiding, concentration camps, hunger sickness, losing relatives. I explained to them my grandfather had been in the South Pacific not Europe. One of the neighbors hugged me and said he had been in a Japanese camp in Indonesia, and his father had died there.
    Not sure about marking days, but visiting sites and hearing real stories makes me appreciate people, appreciate the peace we enjoy today in our part of the world, and admire the normal people who stepped up and did heroic things.
    You’re right – every country has its painful history and its prides. Some empathy in honoring both of those things is the least we can do as expats.

    • Anne Egros June 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Karen,
      Thanks for sharing your interesting story.
      Sometimes, we forget the history and we take for granted things that have been gained with a lot of sweat and blood. I agree, the least we can do as expats is learning history and pay attention of people living next door. Curiosity, empathy, respect and a thirst for learning is usually what makes an expatriation a success story

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