VFW Post 605 Remembers: 79th Anniversary of the Liberation of Paris

Mark Primmer - 8/27/2023

This year, the Liberation of Paris turns 79 years old. 

Marking the occasion, Benjamin Franklin VFW Post 605 Commander Timothy Povich, together with Department of Europe Commander Mark Primmer, and post members Patrick Morrissey (SVC), David Ashcraft (JVC), and Chuck Steiner (QM)stood in solidarity with French veterans at ceremonies in Issy-Les-Moulineax.

When the Allies invaded France on June 6, 1944, they intended to bypass the historic city. Engaging in a protracted urban battle in Paris would risk destruction of the city’s key historical and cultural sites, slow down the advance toward Germany, and require significant resources to secure and sustain the civilian population.

However, to the French people, victory over Germany would not be complete until the capital of France was liberated, and the Vichy government replaced.

After more than four years of Nazi occupation, Paris was liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division, led by Général Philippe François Leclerc, and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, led by Major General Raymond Barton. 

German resistance was light, and General Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison, defied an order by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris’ landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signed a formal surrender that afternoon, and on August 26, Free French General Charles de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d’Elysees.

Each year, ceremonies in Paris and Issy-Les-Moulineaux offer a vivid reminder of the sacrifices made so many years ago.




Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW

VFW Department of Europe