August 29, 2019 @ 6:00PM — 8:00PM
A ceremony and concert to mark to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Paris.
On Thursday, August 29th at 6 p.m., the Friends of the National World War II Memorial will host a ceremony and concert to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany.
Throughout World War II, cooperation among the Allied Nations was critical in defeating the forces of tyranny and ending the deadliest military conflict in human history. For the United States, alliances played key roles dating back to its founding. The “First Alliance” between the U.S. and France has endured for more than 240 years.
During WWII, under General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s and General Charles de Gaulle’s leadership, the United States and Free French (Forces Francaises Libres ) joined forces in several important campaigns with other Allies to combat the Axis powers in Africa and Europe, including “Operation Torch” in 1942; the Normandy invasion to liberate German-occupied Western Europe in 1944; and “Operation Dragoon” in 1944.
By August 19, 1944, with an uprising already taking place in the city of Paris, Free French and American troops set their sights on liberating Paris. Just before midnight on August 24th, the French 2nd Armored Division reached the Hótel de Ville in the heart of Paris. On the morning of August 25th, Free French forces and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division took the city, liberating Paris after four years of Nazi occupation. On August 29th, “Victory Day,” the U.S. Army’s 28th Infantry Division paraded up the Avenue Hoche to the Arc de Triomphe, then down the Champs Élysées, greeted by joyous crowds as they made their way through Paris.
The liberation of this iconic European city from Nazi control was a meaningful victory in the long road toward defeating Hitler and it served as an important symbol for all the Allied nations. Following the Liberation of Paris, French forces continued to fight against Nazi Germany up until the end of the War in Europe in May 1945.
During the August 29th ceremony at the World War II Memorial, we will remember, honor, recognize, and thank these heroes who – through sacrifice, valor, dedication, and determination – preserved our freedom, liberated Paris, and saved the world. At the ceremony will be Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and a senior delegation from the French Army, including their former Chief of Army, General Bruno Cuche along with the Commander of the Brigade that represents the French 2d Armored Division which led the liberation in August of 1944. Major General Andrew Schaefer, Commanding General of the 28th Infantry Division and the Division color guard, and the 1st Brigade Commander and Command Sergeant Major and Division color guard from the 4th Infantry Division – both units which were part of the event in that fateful fight will also be present and recognized.
Following the ceremony, the U.S. Army Band, Pershing's Own will hold a concert at the Memorial during which they will play American and French period pieces.
If you are a World War II veteran, or know of one, who would like to participate in the Liberation of Paris 75th Anniversary Commemoration at the Memorial, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We hope you'll join us on August 29th at the WWII Memorial!
The Liberation of Paris 75th Anniversary Commemoration and Concert is being generously sponsored by The First Alliance Foundation, whose mission is to honor and enhance the French-American strategic and military alliance.