Celebrating the Franco-American Alliance Tour - Day 1

Written by: Ann Dillon, President General
October 9, 2017

The Saturday morning meeting of the National Board of Management was condensed in order to get the members participating in the Celebrating the Franco-American Alliance Tour  in France on their way.  The meeting was followed by a brunch hosted by the tireless members of the Property Beautification and Hospitality Committee and we all felt prepared for a Bon Voyage.  Each tour participant made her own travel arrangements from the United States to Paris and gathered Sunday afternoon for a bus tour of the city.

I have seen Paris in the springtime, but Paris in the fall is equally as lovely.  But, then when is the city not splendid?  We drove by monuments in the Place de-Etas Unis and the Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs Elysees, and other famous landmarks. We also visited the statues of George Washington, Lafayette, Rochambeau and Benjamin Franklin as well as Thomas Jefferson Square where the Rochambeau Chapter Daughters planted a red oak tree to remember September 11, 2001.

One landmark we did not see was a replica of the Statue of Liberty found near the Grenelle Bridge on the Ile des Cygnes, an island in the river Seine.  Dedicated in 1889, three years after Lady Liberty in New York, it faces southwest, towards the statue in New York Harbor.  It was given to the city of Paris by US Citizens living in Paris to celebrate the French Revolution.

While we certainly are celebrating France’s alliance with us in the cause of American Independence, we are looking forward to commemorating World War I as well.  We anticipate having Dr. Monique Seefried, WW I Centennial Commission Coordinator, with us.  This trip actually is a direct result of Dr. Seefried’s meeting with President General Young and myself to consider ways the National Society could promote this Centennial.  Sometimes called “The Great War,” it was expected to end all wars, but merely a few years later the World again saw nation pitted against nation and the significance of World War I is sometimes overlooked.  Although American troops began arriving in 1917, prior to their arrival the US supported the war effort chiefly through contributions of supplies, raw materials and money.  Eventually over four million military personnel were mobilized and over one hundred thousand deaths occurred during the conflict.  Many women deployed as nurses and Red Cross workers, including many DAR members. You can learn more about their work through the exhibit, “Women of Resilience: DAR Service in WWI.”

I have invited several tour participants to write a blog about the sites and scenes we experience.  They are from many states and have multiple reasons for taking the tour.  You will enjoy hearing their perceptions and observations as we experience the sites, sounds and tastes of this beautiful country.

Following our bus tour of this beautiful city, we returned to our host hotel for a welcome reception and dinner.  Finally, it was time to say “bonne nuit”.

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