Normandy Visit

Delegates from Mount Prospect and Sevres, France visit Normandy (photo taken in Paris)

Mount Prospect and Sevres Delegates in 2007.  Photo taken in Paris. Mount Prospect delegates visited Sèvres, FR, with a trip to Normandy Cemetery planned.

Elected and appointed officials from Sèvres and Mount Prospect took a high-speed train from Paris to Saint Malo in Brittany. Saint Malo is an old city built of granite and was used by German armies in WWII as a strategic harbor.

Also going on the extended trip were Sèvres Mayor François Kosciusko-Morizet, his wife Bénédicte, and a tour guide to explain battles along the coastline during WWII.

Tour Guide explains battles to free Saint Malo
Saint Malo was built using granite. It became German strong-hold, protected as a harbor and reinforced with armaments. City was bombed, but has rebuilt.
Delegate Rachel Toeppen walks around the city.
Mayor Wilks points to North Atlantic. Germans occupied St. Malo because of its fortifications on the coast.
Alan and Mayor Irvana Wilks stand on a German bunker left after WWII.
Sèvres Mayor François Kosciusko-Morizet, his wife Bénédicte, and Mayor Wilks stand on Normandy Beach
Crosses at Normandy Cemetery

Mayor Irvana K. Wilks read at American Cemetery “Hallowed Ground” a poem-prayer she wrote for the delegation visit with between Mount Prospect and Sèvres, France

Hallowed Ground  – Poem By Irvana K. Wilks
We stand on ground made sacred by those buried here.
They gave their lives to free a country from occupation
and in that selfless act, they began a crescendo
that freed a world from a tyrant.

By laying this wreath with our friends from Sèvres,
we unite our hearts and words in this solemn
gesture performed so many times since these
brave men fought decades ago.

The soldiers who lived – their Comrades in Arms – returned
home again to be husbands, fathers, big brothers, teachers,
poets, farmers, doctors, builders, lawyers, athletes, mentors.
This wreath speaks to our appreciation for the sacrifices made.

A wreath symbolizes a circle of life uniting humanity. It stands
for the fields of flowers never returned to by those buried here.
The ribbons are like the shreds of a flag after battle. For our flag,
the red stripes speak to the blood shed in defense of liberty.
The white stripes are tears wept by mothers who lost their sons.
The blue is the sky which encircles our world. Its stars are
for fifty states, the homes these brave thousands
left to travel to their destinies.

We honor you, your lives cut short. In this act
we know the mantle of responsibility to defend liberty
has passed to our own shoulders.
And so we say in gratitude to you –
Rest in Peace – Sons of America.
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During visit to Normandy Cemetery, Mount Prospect and Sevres delegates placed flowers for the fallen American soldiers. Mayor Wilks presented Mayor Kosciusko-Morizet of Sevres with her poem, Hallowed Ground.