The 2022 annual congress took place in the Condé-Espace hall in Condé-sur Vire.
As usual, during these meetings, members were welcomed in the cafeteria and were able to enjoy coffee, tea and pastries served by administrators who became bartenders (-maid) for the circumstances while others were busy with various tasks, each at his designated post, everything went well.
The president opened the morning of work with a word of welcome to all and addressed to the Mayor, some words of gratitude for the warm welcome in this room, thanks that he also addressed to the municipal technical staff placed at the disposal of the association from Friday.
The president thanked all the administrators who mobilized themselves during the past two years, in a good mood despite the gloomy atmosphere of this past time .
He then addressed Mrs. Elizabeth Webster, US Consul in residence in Rennes, thanking her for honoring us with her presence, then Mr. Scott Desjardins, Director of the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville.
He insisted on the presence of Kathy Teal, daughter of Frank Towers, who came from the U.S.A. to honor us with her presence, marking the strong link that symbolically unites her family to the association.
Words of gratitude were addressed to the patrons: Departmental Councils of the Manche and Calvados, municipalities, small or large, which support the association in its actions.
The assembly observed a minute of silence paying tribute to
to Mr. Gene Dillenger who, in his position in 2000, facilitated the creation of the association. He remained faithful and concerned about its future.
to all those who came from across the Atlantic and are buried in the two American necropolises in Normandy, but also to all those who joined them to liberate us from the Nazi yoke and who never returned to their native land.
A minute of silence, enhanced by the hymn of the association, was observed played by Christophe Lavieille, son of one of the founders.
After these traditional greetings, it was time for the balance sheets and projects.
Beforehand, the assembly decided, by an absolute majority, that
the votes are done by a show of hands.
Thus were successively read and commented then submitted to the votes, the moral and activity reports gathered, the financial account 2021 commented. No particular remark and they were adopted by an absolute majority.
The points concerning 2022 were then discussed:
the provisional budget; read and commented by Mrs. Blot, treasurer, it was adopted by an absolute majority.
the memberships: the vice-president evoked the good health of the association since each month passing, this one is nourished by new members.
He also evoked the link between them and the association: postal difficulties with the changes of addresses not announced, the new communes and their numbering, but also numerical of the points or the hyphens badly interpreted, all that involving many returns of mails whatever is thus of the badly informed members.
The modification of the statutes
The president recalled that this subject had been programmed for the 2020 congress, a subject recalled in detail in the March 2022 bulletin
The modifications of articles 2, 4, 8 and 10 of the statutes were then discussed. These were commented on and adopted by an absolute majority (see website).
Renewal of the mandates of the board of directors
The president mentioned successively
the mandates of 6 administrators expiring on April 30, 2022.
the candidacy of two members wishing to join the Board of Directors after having accompanied the work of the Board for at least one year in accordance with article 7-2 of the statutes.
Thus constituted, the list of candidates was submitted to the votes of the assembly.
Thus. were elected Françoise Dufour, Mireille Jarnouen, Janine Lebourgeois, Michèle Letourneur, Jacqueline Lemouton, Gaëtane Pitois, Jean-Hervé Lebunetel and Joël Jarnouen, administrators and called to sit as such from May 1, 2022 for a duration of three years.
The President took the opportunity to inform that he will present his resignation as President at the next Board of Directors meeting, i.e. on April 12.
In addition to the Memorial Day ceremony on May 29 in the two cemeteries, on July 4, Independence Day, the association will renew the distribution of roses on July 4 to tourists.
To anticipate a little, the preparation requiring it, the President informs that the city of Saint-James will welcome with a great pleasure the congress 2023, the date remaining to be confirmed. It will be published on the website. For the following year, some milestones have been set, some pre-projects but it is still early to talk about them.
The association, with its “Welcome” commission, has already accompanied 200 schoolchildren over the last few days. Other accompaniments are planned.
The President then gave the floor to Mr. Desjardins who spoke about the difficulties that led him to prohibit certain accesses to the squares and to set up a system allowing it for the flowering. It was an appreciated intervention.
Then came the highlight of the morning:
the evocation of an arrest by the Gestapo on March 27, 1944 in Torigny/Vire
by Mrs. G. Laurent, a 10 year old witness
the evocation of the prison camp of Foucarville
by Mrs. Broilliard and Mr. Lenoël.
A time of religious silence followed by hearty applause greeted these interventions
including a letter of testimony read by Miss Comemale.
This round table was followed by the dedication of their book
“German Prisoners in Normandy”.
At the end of the morning, the president gave the floor to Mrs. Elizabeth Webster, U.S. Consul for the Great West of France who, with warm and encouraging words, saluted the work of the association and assured it of the support of the Consulate.
After a hearty lunch, appreciated by all, the members who wished to do so went to La Chapelle de la Madelaine in Saint-Lô.
Madame Lejeune, mayor of Saint-Lô, welcomed the group with a magnificent speech to which the president responded before reading a letter written on February 8, 1944 by a G.I. to his parents a few hours before leaving American soil for an unknown horizon. A state of mind.
The raising of the colors was done while the voice of Mrs. Frances Hooks rang out a capella, singing successively the American and French anthems.
Then came the laying of wreaths at the foot of the stele commemorating the martyrs of the attacks (monument created by the students of the Doisneau Institute.
It was a tribute to the victims of Nazism and of all extremism that shook the 20th century and make the world of today tremble.
After the minute of silence, everyone could visit the chapel, the memorial museum of the city.
A big thank you to the Mayor and her collaborators who made this ceremony of Remembrance possible, as we do every year, on a meaningful site.