The Memoirs Project
Established to honor and remember the individual Allied soldiers, resistance fighters and patriots who fought to free France in World War Two, and afterwards retired in the United States, or who’s families live in the United States.
Formed under the guidance of Mr. David Martinon, Consul General of France, with the support of dedicated volunteers as well as numerous French associations, together we are committed to carrying out projects to bring honor in our day to those who fought for France in WWII, and to remember what the price of freedom is.
The concept for a formal acknowledgement of the French veterans and resistance fighters came to Jacques Cohen while attending the funeral of a long time friend and fellow petanque player: Victor Clafin. He was a French Jewish prisoner of war in Germany for 5 years during World War Two.
The passing of his friend occurred in September 2008. By October 1, Jacques had presented the idea to Mr. David Martinon, the new French Consul General. Mr. Martinon’s response was an enthusiastic “Yes! Let’s do it for Armistice Day 11/11/08.”
Jacques recruited a core team, including William Louis Widmaier as Editor In Chief and Stefan Saldivia who would direct an accompanying documentary. Numerous others from the Franco-American community came on board.
One month later a book of memoirs and testimonials and a beautiful short documentary were done. They were completed just in time for an event at the French Consul General’s home on November 11th, 2008, the 90th Anniversary of Armistice Day.
The event was deeply moving, French and American WW2 veterans shared the stage, many tears were shed, men choked up with emotion, old widows embraced young project staff while crying tears of thanks, family members learned their heritage, long overdue recognition was given, and many wounds healed.
When that first event was over we all realized that this project must go on.
More information: The Memoirs Project