Commemorating the Centennial of the Great War and the Armistice
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 program featuring a keynote address by distinguished GT alumnus, General Philip M. Breedlove, followed by presentations by Professor John Morrow, University of Georgia, a prominent scholar of World War One; Professor Seymour Goodman, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, who co-organized the largest symposium on WW I in the state of Georgia; and Colonel William Woodcock, (USAF, Ret.), a WWI historian. Dr. Vicki Birchfield, CETS Co-Director and Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs 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 Mr. Gilbert Kesse, an 89- year old local “Messin,” who has carried the American flag in the Armistice ceremonies in Metz for the past 35 years.
Sites visited included:
- St. Mihiel and the Montsec Memorial: 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: largest number of American military dead in Europe (14,246)
- 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.
Sunday, November 11th: General Breedlove participated in the formal Armistice ceremonies of Metz at the Monuments aux Morts where he placed a wreath presented by Dr. Vicki Birchfield and GTL students, Liana Rix and Kyle Lundberg, in honor of French-American friendship.
More photographs are available here.