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French visit B 06222016 400 French officials visit Centennial Commission offices in DC

By Kate Lyons
Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2016) -- Senior officials of the French government visited WWI Centennial Headquarters in Washington today for a working session on international plans for the centennial. The delegation was welcomed by Commission Vice Chair Edwin Fountain and Executive Director Dan Dayton.

← Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance Jean-Marc Todeschini of France (center) is given a tour of Pershing Park by national World War 1 Memorial architect Joe Weishaar (right) and U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission Vice Chair Edwin Fountain (left).On November 19, 2015 France and the United States entered into a bilateral agreement of cooperation regarding centennial efforts in the coming years. Jean-Marc Todeschini, Secretary for Veterans Affairs of France, noted the success of the cooperation so far, citing the re-dedication of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial earlier this year.

Discussions included process, education efforts, and fundraising initiatives. Vice Chair Fountain who serves as general counsel for the American Battle Monuments Commission [AMBC], also discussed joint AMBC projects regarding World War I cemeteries, as well as future centennial events in various former Allied nations.

Deputy Chief of Mission for the French Embassy Nathalie Broadhurst also reiterated the Embassy’s interest in providing direct assistance with commemorative events during 2017.

The delegation was given a special tour of the site of the National World War I Memorial by the memorial's architect Joe Weishaar and Vice Chair Fountain.

Kate Lyons is a 2016 Summer Intern at the World War One Centennial Commission.