After visiting “Belleau Wood battle field” on June 3rd , 2018 with our association “Association Nationale 1914 1918”, it was mandatory to stop at the near Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.
Some of us were near the mast during the sunset ceremony and a few minutes later another flag went up.
After taking some pictures and seeing our surprised faces a woman gave us in French the explanation of that other ceremony.
In fact, she was the mother of one of the persons around the mast, a former Marine who came with family for the Memorial Day with veterans from the 45th ID US.
Enlisted in 2003, he was wounded in 2004 in Iraq and after being attended in hospital in Florida, he returned to Afghanistan where he was wounded again. We have no details of these injuries but taking pictures we saw that in his look behind his glasses was bravery, and fierce determination to fight for his country.
With Mother Father and younger son, he participated to the Memorial Day and drank water at the Hell’s dog fountain, tradition saying that each gulp would extend life for one day.
His son having bring the Star-Spangled Banner from home this one was sent Up mast and after lowering was folded by regulation and to finalize a certificate was given.
That Stars and Stripes having waved on Belleau Wood will wave in Florida where this veteran father of 4 will return. And his son will be able to tell his mother and brothers and sisters his father’s former comrades achievements.
And he could tell that motto “do not forget that this is on French land that you have entrust your last dream”