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World War II Commemorative Event For Operation Dragoon Held At Rhone American Cemetery

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: USN}

France

 

U.S. Navy Participates in Commemoration of the Liberation of Southern France.

By Daniel Schumacher

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DRAGUIGNAN, France – U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa personnel attended a remembrance ceremony at the Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16 2015, culminating several commemorative events in recognition of the World War II liberation of Southern France.

The Rhone American Cemetery ceremony and other events paid tribute to Operation Dragoon, the Allied landings on the beaches of Southern France that took place on Aug. 15, 1944.

Continue reading for some quick facts and additional links…

150816-N-AX546-360 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, center; Cmdr. Charles Hampton, commanding officer, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), left, and Col. Brendan McAloon, senior defense official and Defense and Army Attache in Paris, France, render honors during a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The ceremony is part of a series of events to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

Quote:

“These hollowed grounds, provide a place for people of all nations and ages to walk amid our honored dead and learn from their sacrifice. It provides a place where we can nurture the idea that service to country and selfless sacrifice remain worthy goals and chosen paths.”

– Capt. Cathal O’Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, in remarks at the Rhone American Cemetery

 

Quick Facts:

  • Other events included a ceremony at the Croix de Lorraine to honor a French Navy commando unit who were the advance party for Operation Dragoon; 1.5 miles off the shores of Theoule-sur-Mer, which was the point where Operation Dragoon commenced; and a parade through Theoule-sur-Mer’s town square.
  • The crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) also participated in the various events in Théoule-sur-Mer and the Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan.

o   The ship hosted a tour of the ship for local Navy League members, followed up by a reception onboard, for local dignitaries.

o   Donald Cook Sailors conducted a community relations project at Rhone American Cemetery where sailors placed American and French flags in anticipation of the upcoming ceremony.

o   The ship’s Commanding officer, Cmdr. Charles E. Hampton, along with members of the crew observed a ceremony at the Croix de Lorraine.

  • Donald Cook is part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces stationed in Rota, Spain, and, is on a regularly scheduled patrol in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
  • The U.S. Naval Forces Europe band also supported the activities, playing taps at the wreath laying ceremony, marching in the parade, and playing the French and American national anthems at the Rhone American Cemetery ceremony.
  • U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.

150816-N-AX546-144 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) U.S. Navy along with French civilian and military officials gather at the Rhone American Cemetery, France, Aug. 16, 2015, to honor the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon. The ceremony is part of a series of events to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

 

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150816-N-AX546-177 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Nine military jets fly over Rhone American Cemetery during a remembrance ceremony honoring servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, Aug. 16, 2015. The ceremony is part of a series of events to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

 

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150816-N-AX546-230 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, speaks at a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at the Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The ceremony is part of a series of events to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

 

 

 

150816-N-AX546-195 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, speaks at a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at the Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The ceremony is part of a series of events to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

150816-N-AX546-499 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) U.S. Navy along with French civilian and military officials render honors during the playing of taps followed by the American, French and British national anthems at the Rhone American Cemetery, France, Aug. 16, 2015, in remembrance of the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon. The U.S. Navy is participating in several events alongside French civilian and military officials to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

150816-N-AX546-532 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, left, greets a member of the Patriotic Flag Bearers during a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The U.S. Navy is participating in several events alongside French civilian and military officials to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

150816-N-AX546-536 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, left, greets a member of the Patriotic Flag Bearers during a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The U.S. Navy is participating in several events alongside French civilian and military officials to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

150816-N-AX546-544 DRAGUIGNAN, France (Aug. 16, 2015) Capt. Cathal S. O'Connor, Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, left, greets a member of the Patriotic Flag Bearers during a ceremony of remembrance for the servicemembers who died during the World War II Allied landing on Southern France, code-named Operation Dragoon, at Rhone American Cemetery Aug. 16, 2015. The U.S. Navy is participating in several events alongside French civilian and military officials to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of Operation Dragoon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

[photo credits:  U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released]

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[photo credits-featured image: “Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial (8189567854)” by jimmyweee – Rhone American Cemetery and MemorialUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rhone_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial_(8189567854).jpg#/media/File:Rhone_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial_(8189567854).jpg]

 

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