Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Liberation of Metz, November, 1944

November 20, 2010, the day Susie and I boarded the airplane to return to Metz, coincidentally marked the 66th anniversary of the city's liberation by American forces. The liberation of Metz was a hellish task, as the city and its surrounding were among the most heavily fortified in Europe.
The tourist office, on the north side of the square bordered by both the cathedral and the hotel de ville, displayed a banner commemorating the liberation. On the south side, opposite the banner, a plaque on the base of a statue marks the place where General Walker of the U.S. Army handed over to the French authorities the city liberated by his troops. The mayor's office placed a ceremonial bouquet under the plaque.

Many more bouquets surrounded the monument honoring the U.S. Army's 95th Infantry Division, the Iron Men of Metz. Among the tributes, just below "Metz," was a red-white-and-blue floral arrangement from the Association Lorraine-Etats Unis.

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