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  • NO ! They Have Not Been Forgotten !!

    Frank Towers - 30th Inf. Div.

    The following is a speech given by Frank W. Towers, a former veteran of the liberation of Normandy in 1944, at the dedication ceremony of "Les Fleurs de la Memoire" on 8 June 2002, at the Normandy-American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy France.

    NO ! They Have Not Been Forgotten !!

    Far from the beautiful shores of America, many of our fallen sons lie on foreign soil today.

    Long ago in battle, the bodies of these heroes were brought down by an enemy action, and they have laid here for all of these many years.

    By whose decision do they still remain on foreign soil, rather than being taken home to their families' local cemetery? Have they just been forgotten??

    Such questions need a lot of soul searching, deep thought, and delving into the reasons why.

    First, to relieve your mind and curiosity, the answer is a resounding "NO", they have not been forgotten!

    The loss of a loved one can never be forgotten.

    War is Hell on Earth! The dead bear witness to this!

    Long ago when these men were killed in Normandy during WWII in Europe, comrade by comrade, they were buried in temporary graves near where they fell. Later, they were reinterred in a more permanent site, landscaped and well cared for by our United States government.

    Over the next few years, families were given the option of having their loved one's returned to the United States, for reburial in their local cemetery and family plot, to facilitate frequent visits by all family members.

    On the other hand, many families made their soul searching decision to have their beloved son or husband remain on foreign soil where they had fallen, along with their comrades, for the cause of Freedom and Liberty, and to be among their comrades who had also sacrificed their life for the same reason.

    Here they are by the thousands. Who is ever going to think of them or care for their grave or pay them an occasional visit and tribute?

    Do You Ever Think of Them?? "YES"!!

    "Let Us Never Forget Them"

    All of the cemeteries on foreign soil were donated in perpetuity to the government of the United States of America, for all time into the future. The American Battle Monuments Commission was given the task of beautifying each site on its own merits for size, landscaping and the general layout plan. So, here these heroes lie forever.

    It is very heartwarming to know that many of these graves have been adopted by You, members of "Les Fleurs de la Memoire", a great cross section of society, young, old, male, female, and all with a common spirit of satisfaction, Love and Thanks, for the Freedom and Liberty that you experience and enjoy today.

    You, the adoptive families, have not forgotten the trials and tribulations that you or your families had endured during the 4 years, 4 months and 4 days of occupation by the German Nazi and Tyrannical oppressors.

    It was these many heroes who have remained behind, to become the symbol of Freedom and Liberty for the French people, and this gives them the opportunity to express their most sincere and warm Thanks and feeling of Love and appreciation to these heroes.

    As one person related to me: "We were Born Again! We were given the opportunity to start out on a new life".

    Another simply said: "We owe it to them - they gave their 'all' for us".

    On and on it will go, with continual tribute paid to our men on many special occasions, as well as personal and private tributes paid on a daily basis.

    You, as members of "Les Fleurs de la Memoire", have made a dream come true for many of the families of these fallen heroes, as well as for myself.

    I wish to sincerely Thank the Board of Directors for their dedication and efforts to make "Les Fleurs de la Memoire" such a grand success in such a short time.

    NO! They have not Been Forgotten!!

    Thank You.

    Viva la France!! Viva les Etats Unis!!

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