In the United States, Veterans Day is a special day – a day to Remember, to Honor, and to Thank those who have selflessly gone whenever and wherever they were called. In Europe, this day is commemorated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, commemorating the end of the World War I. Post 605 is unique in the size of its footprint – although the Post is headquartered in France, its members span numerous countries and U.S States. As such, the Post had a global Veteran’s Day celebration.
On 8 November, Benjamin Franklin Post 605 Paris, France, with VFW Department of Europe Commander Mark Primmer and a number of other members of Post 605, were honored to present a Buddy Poppy and a VFW Department of Europe Commander Coin to U.S. Ambassador Denise Campbell Bauer in her office just before the post kicked off its annual Poppy Drive at the U.S. Embassy France.
On 10 November, Comrade Alex Brassert marked Armistice Day with a ceremony in the 16th Arrondissement in Paris. Uniformed French LTC from Paris Garrison, police, firemen, citizens visited several monuments where wreaths were laid, a drummer and a bugeler played "aux Morts" (the French version of Taps) and children sang patriotic songs. The ceremony ended at the Place du Trocadero at the WWI memorial.
Also, in true Veterans Day spirit, the Post 605 Quartermaster Charles Steiner and Chièvres AB Civil Air Patrol cadets laid a wreath at Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial in Waregem, Belgium. [Put Picture from Facebook]
On 11 November, VFW Benjamin Franklin Post 605 members remembered the day side by side with fellow Americans and our European friends with several ceremonies in France.
Post 605 Commander Timothy Povich and Trustee Alex Brassert, together with Paris-area Scouts, presented wreaths and distributed Buddy Poppies at the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Armistice Day/Veterans Day memorial ceremony at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery which honors the Lafayette Escadrille is one of the most famous U.S. squadrons to operate in France before and during WWI.
Senior Vice Commander Patrick Morrissey teamed up with American Legion Post 1 and laid a wreath for Post 605 at the Veteran’s Day ceremony at the American Legion Mausoleum ceremony.
Together with French Veterans from Union Nationale des Combattants / section d'Issy-les-Moulineaux, Post 605 Junior Vice Commander David Ashcraft and other Post 605 members enthusiastically supported the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux, France during their Armistice Day ceremonies.
Comrades Spencer Timmons and Alex Brassert presented a wreath and distributed Poppies at the ABMC ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery in Suresnes, France, alongside local French government officials and US Embassy personnel.
In the United States, the Post Chaplain, Kristina Keenan represented the Post at the commemoration of Veteran’s Day at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. with the VFW National Commander and the President Biden.
Comrade Jack Pinard celebrated Veterans Day in Oxnard, California with local scouts and government leaders.
For VFW Post 605, Veterans Day isn’t just another day. Rather, it is an annual day of celebration that serves to motivate us all with a renewed sense of patriotism, purpose and pride and remind our communities of what it means to be a Veteran.