Decoration Day was last Monday. Despite our 3,660 mile long reason we couldn’t be stateside to celebrate American freedom (and both of my parents’ birthdays!) properly with family, we found a way to show our red, white and blue abroad: at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Suresnes, France, which is in greater Paris.
How to Get There
You have a few options to get to Surenes: the Bus, an SNCF regional train, or just the Tram 2 line, which is what we did. Take the tram and enjoy the Seine. Be warned: you will enjoy the Seine for 45 minutes on the slow moving tram! Also, Suresnes is in zone three, so remember to buy a ticket that goes far enough and will get you back. :-)
Once you get off of the tram, leave via the second exit, Sortie 2. Walk up Rue Cluseret for 10 minutes, until you hit Boulevard Washington, and take a right. The entrance to the Cemetery and Memorial will be ahead on your left. And by straight up… I mean it. You will walk 450 meters (1476 feet) from the tram stop to the front of the Memorial, and your elevation will rise 130 meters (426 feet). The hike is worth it though: the Cemetery affords a panoramic postcard view of the city. Who has two thumbs and hikes with a stroller?!?!? This girl.
Enjoy the Memorial
Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial is the only official resting grounds of American soldiers from both World War I and World War II.
From the American Battle Monuments Commission website:
Originally a World War I cemetery, the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial just outside Paris now shelters the remains of U.S. dead of both wars. The 7.5-acre cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 unknown dead of World War II. Bronze tablets on the walls of the chapel record the names of 974 World War I missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The World War I memorial chapel was enlarged by the addition of two loggias dedicated to the dead of World War I and World War II, respectively. In the rooms at the ends of the loggias are white marble figures in memory of those who lost their lives in the two wars. Inscribed on the loggia walls is a summary of the loss of life in our armed forces in each war, together with the location of the overseas commemorative cemeteries where our war dead are buried.
Even as they sleep, they watch over the city.
Did you do any memorial visiting last week? It was always a quiet tradition for my family to go to Titusville, Florida to say our thanks. Thank you.
À la prochaine…