On 27 May, Mr. Eddy Geudens, President NDTA Benelux Chapter, Belgium, took part in Memorial Day Ceremonies at Belleau Cemetery, Belleau, France. High-ranking military officials from the United States, France and Germany took part to remember the Battle of Belleau Wood, 1 June 1918–a turning point in World War I and a key moment in U.S. Marine Corps history.
The ceremony featured speeches from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and other military officials, prayers, wreath laying (including the NDTA Wreath), poem readings, and the national anthems of the three countries. More than 5,000 people attended the event to commemorate the fierce, month-long battle, which is considered the first major engagement of U.S. troops in the war. Belleau Wood, where U.S. Marines helped Allied Forces to secure victory, also helped to the prestige and reputation for bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps overseas. Rear Admiral Brent Scott, chaplain of the U.S. Marine Corps, said the battle was a “critical turning point” for the Corps.
Madame Jamie MC COURT, U.S. Ambassador in France
Mr.. William M. MATZ Jr., Secretary General American Battle Monuments Commission
General Robert B. NELLER, Commandant of the (US) U.S. Marine Corps
Major General Vincent GUIONIE, Deputy Chief of Staff of the French Army
German Lieutenant General Carsten JACOBSON, Deputy Commander of ISAF