Aisne-Marne American Memorial Cemetery, France


05/31/2012: As the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps performs in Aisne-Marne Memorial Cemetery, American Marines, to include the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, and citizens as well as French soldiers and locals, including the mayor of the town of Belleau, Monique Benier, look on as they celebrate Memorial Day on the sacred ground of Belleau Wood.

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Credit: USMC Forces Europe: 5/26/12
The ceremony marked the 94th anniversary of the battle and embodied the legacy Belleau Wood has given to the Marine Corps and the brotherhood that unites an American-French friendship that has lasted from before the fields of World War I to the current operations in Afghanistan and was attended by Marines from commands all over Europe and the United States, to include: members of the 5th Marine Regiment, Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, and Marine Forces Europe.
  • In the second photo, in Memorial Day tradition, distinguished guests, including Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, the mayor of the town of Belleau, Monique Benier, and former Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps John L. Estrada, lay wreaths in front of the Aisne-Marne cemetery Memorial Chapel during one of the largest Memorial Day events in Europe.
  • In the third photo, in keeping in the tradition of flying the American flag at half-staff until noon, Marines raise the national colors, alongside their French partners, to full-staff at one of the largest Memorial Day Event in Europe in Aisne-Marne Memorial Cemetery, France.
  • In the fourth photo, in preparation for the next day’s festivities, the largest Memorial Day celebration in all of Europe at Aisne-Marne Cemetery, France, Cpl. Yves Joseph, a diary clerk with Marine Forces Europe, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, native, places a miniature American flag next to a French one in keeping with Memorial Day traditions.
  • In the fifth photo, after laying a wreath in honor of the sacrifices made at Belleau during World War I, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, salutes to the Marine memorial, “Iron Mike,” that is nestled on the sacred, historic battlefield of Belleau Wood.