Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day--Remembering the Battle of Belleau Wood

Today is Flag Day.

Ninety seven summers ago the United States Marines were engaged in the fierce Battle of Belleau Wood in eastern France against the Germans. It was the first major engagement of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and the bloody struggle immediately added to the lore of the Marines.

Early in the battle, the French urged the Marines to withdraw--and an officer replied back,"Retreat? Hell, we just got here."

Later, a sergeant shouted to his troops, "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

After the Allied victory, France renamed Belleau, Bois de la Brigade de Marine, that is, Wood of the Marine Brigade.

Almost no one in the Chicago aware is aware that on Ballard Road in Des Plaines there is a monument to the Marines who fought and died during that battle, with of course Old Glory and some Marine flags.

Happy Flag Day!

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