|By Marketwired .||
|June 6, 2014 03:50 PM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 06/06/14 -- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and as an homage to the U.S. soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of France, the not-for-profit association The French Will Never Forget (TFWNF), with help from both the French and U.S. governments, produced a grand and moving tribute earlier today at Liberty Island.
A series of events demonstrated the support and gratitude the French people feel for their longtime American allies. The French navy frigate Lafayette called on the Port of New York; a flotilla of sailboats from the Manhattan Yacht Club surrounded Liberty Island; and a New York Firefighter boat sprayed streams of red, white and blue water into the air as a salute. Two helicopters flew over the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States in 1886, where they released 1 million red rose petals. A group of 130 French and American children carried TFWNF's gigantic U.S. and French flags (30' x 60'), then unfurled them while the band of the First Company Governor's Foot Guard (Hartford, Conn.) performed both countries' national anthems. A ceremony on Liberty Island honored several WWII veterans who were present on D-Day, in front of dignitaries, an American color guard and a French garde d'honneur.
The French Will Never Forget's co-presidents and co-founders, Paul Bensabat, Patrick du Tertre, Jean-Pierre Heim and Christian Millet, offered their thoughts: "Today was a very emotional day for all of us as we were able to honor these men who fought and sacrificed their lives to give France back its freedom. We were able to tell them in a place so representative of the Franco-American friendship -- the Statue of Liberty -- and in a very special manner with 1 million red rose petals, that 'The French Will Never Forget.'"
The project, orchestrated by Rod Kukurudz of Citizen Events, was made possible thanks to generous donations from numerous individuals, French associations and corporations. Among the main sponsors:
- Platinum: SNCF
- Gold: Air France, Crédit Agricole, Natixis
- Silver: Citizen Events, Dassault Falcon Jet, Havas PR, Jean-Pierre Heim and Associates, Logfret, L'Oréal, Statue Cruises
- Bronze: Limoges.com, Messchaert, New York on Air
About The French Will Never Forget
The French Will Never Forget (TFWNF) is a grassroots organization created in 2003 by a group of French citizens living in the United States: Paul Bensabat, Patrick du Tertre, Jean-Pierre Heim and Christian Millet. TFWNF strives to strengthen the friendship between the American and French people and the relationship between the two countries, whose ties have a strong and rich history, beginning with France's support at the budding nation's inception and being the first country to recognize the U.S. as an independent nation. TFWNF has created major events to celebrate this friendship. Some of the largest include laying a red rose on each of the 60,511 graves of American soldiers fallen in France, creating a human chain of 2,500 French people saying "France Will Never Forget" on the sands of Omaha Beach, and organizing the largest commemoration abroad for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy by creating a replica of the Twin Towers in Paris at Trocadéro Plaza.
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