Georgia Tech-Lorraine Commemorates the Centennial of WWI and the Armistice

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Summary Sentence:

On 8-11 November 2018, Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) and the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies (CETS) presented a series of events to commemorate the centennial of the Armistice of the First World War

Full Summary:

On 8-11 November 2018, Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) and the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies (CETS) presented a series of events to commemorate the centennial of the armistice of the First World War. 

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  • The CETS WW1 Armistice commemoration delegation visited Montsec American Monument The CETS WW1 Armistice commemoration delegation visited Montsec American Monument
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On 8-11 November 2018, Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) and the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies (CETS) presented a series of events to commemorate the centennial of the armistice of the First World War. 

The program kicked off with a symposium held on the GTL campus featuring a keynote address by distinguished Georiga Tech alumnus and Nunn School Distinguished Professor General Philip M. Breedlove, followed by presentations by John Morrow, a professor at the University of Georgia, Seymour Goodman, Regents' Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and co-organizer of the largest symposium on WWI in Georgia, and Colonel William Woodcock, (USAF, Ret.), a WWI historian.  

Vicki Birchfield, CETS co-director and the Nunn School professor in residence at GTL until 2020, moderated the plenary session and Q&A with the audience of approximately 150 people including students, faculty and representatives from local and regional authorities.

At the end of the plenary session, General Breedlove presented a special commendation to Gilbert Kesse, an 89-year old local “Messin” who has carried the American flag in armistice ceremonies in Metz for the past 35 years.

On Friday, November 9, Monique Seefried, a historian and commissioner on the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission, joined the other distinguished participants and a group of GTL students and faculty to discuss WWI and the challenges of “devoir de memoire” or the “duty to remember” in the context of her work and the mission and activities of the Centennial Commission. This discussion took place during a group excursion to local sites that helped contextualize the significance of the Lorraine region and the linkages between three wars (Franco-Prussian 1870-71, WWI and WWII). The sites included the Gravelotte Museum, Dornot-Corny Battlefield Memorial, and Maison Schuman.

The day was capped off by a special jointly organized program with the Mayor of Metz featuring an address by General Breedlove and a presentation by Seefried to the Military Governor of Metz and a local audience of approximately 40 people.

On Saturday, November 10, the GTL group engaged in an all day commemorative excursion with symposium participants--excluding Seefried, who was in Paris to represent the US Centennial Commission for the main national event hosted by French President Macron--and the addition of Diego Ruiz Palmer, policy adviser to the NATO assistant secretary general for Emerging Security Challenges, who brought a unique European perspective to the commentary provided by the US delegation.

Sites visited included:  

  • St. Mihiel and the Montsec Memorial, site of a major American battle that resulted in the liberation of the first French town, Thiaucourt, less than an hour’s drive from the GTL campus
  • Meuse Argonne American Cemetery where the largest number of American military dead in Europe (14,246) are buried
  • Verdun/Douamont: Necropole representing the graves of 16,000 French soldiers and Ossuary with remains of 130,000 French and German unknown soldiers. Two special memorials to Jewish and Muslim soldiers.

On Sunday, November 11, General Breedlove participated in the formal armistice ceremonies of Metz at the Monuments aux Morts where he placed a wreath presented by Vicki Birchfield and GTL students, Liana Rix and Kyle Lundberg, in honor of French-American friendship. 

Additional Information

Groups

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

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Keywords
Georgia Tech Lorraine, world war I
Status
  • Created By: jpalacios9
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 20, 2018 - 10:19am
  • Last Updated: Nov 26, 2018 - 6:13pm