March 26th, 2004
Mr. Edward Black
8005 Twin Harbor Dr.
Mt. Gilead, NC 27306
Dear Mr. Black:
As we told you in our recent telephone conversation, this letter will
verify in writing, everything we discussed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been contacted by the French
government and asked to assist them in identifying United States
military veterans who served during World War II and participated in the
liberation of France. The Government of France is anxious to recognize
the valor and sacrifice of US servicemen and women who served in France
during the war.
The French are planning several ceremonies on the occasion of the 60th
Anniversary of D-Day, June 6,2004. They plan to present their highest
and most prestigious military decoration, the legion of Honor, to 100 US
veterans who helped liberate their country. These 100 veterans are
intended to represent all the young Americans who fought in France
during the war.
We called to verify your military service and to inquire about your
interest and availability to make the trip to France to receive this
award, and any physical limitations which might preclude you from
traveling. Based on your answers to our questions, your name has been
placed on the list of awardees which will be submitted to the French
If you have not done so already, please send a copy of your discharge
papers from the military to:
COL (Ret) Robert F. Elliott
1111 Army-Navy Drive, Apt. 1429
Arlington, VA 22202
The trip to France will take place June 3 - 7, 2004. As we told you, the
French Government will provide transportation to France, plus
accommodations for the 100 award recipients and for one escort person
for each veteran. If you have not given us the name, address and phone
number for your escort, please call Mr. Elliott with that information.
This is the proposed itinerary for the trip. All veterans and escorts
will depart from Dulles International Airport on a chartered Air France
aircraft in the late evening June 3. The French Ambassador will also be
a passenger. The plane will arrive at the Charles de Galle Airport in
Paris the next morning. There will be buses at the airport to take the
veterans and their escorts to a hotel in Paris which will be their
residence for three days.
You will have the rest of the day on June 4, and the daytime hours on
June 5, to acclimate to the time change. On the evening of June 5,
General Douin, former Chief of Staff, French Department of Defense, will
present the Legion of Honor medals at a special ceremony in Paris. The
next day, a special train will take the veterans to Normandy to
participate in various patriotic ceremonies. The exact schedule of
events is still to be determined.
Most of the veterans and escorts will return on an Air France chartered
flight at about noon on June 7. Any veteran who wishes to remain in
France for additional days may do so at his/her own expense. Air France
will provide transportation for the veteran and his or her escort to an
Air France gateway on the return trip.
You and your escort will need a valid passport to make this trip. If you
don't have one, or if your passport has expired, we have enclosed the
forms you need to obtain one.
Congratulations on your selection. As this is an initiative of the
Government of France, they will be your hosts, and they will be
contacting you in the near future with further instructions. If you have
any questions before then, please feel free to contact Robert Elliott at
Acting Assistant Secretary
for Policy, Planning, and Preparedness