Blog

Cell Phone Brothers

Stories from the Road-Never Forget

Never Forget – it's a phrase most recently associated with September 11, 2001, an indelible watershed moment in history. We say, "never forget” so that we honor the memory of those lost and the loss that so many family members ...
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Students and Vets

Growing Up Grateful

We often share how the French people teach every generation to show gratitude for their freedom. Recently, at our Stony Brook screening, I had the pleasure of meeting a student from France, Anne-Sarah. Her genuine excitement for veterans and our ...
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An older veteran saluting a young boy who is saluting him back

Generation to Generation

Last November we shared a blog from educator and author, Todd Anton. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Veterans Appreciation Dinner which will be held on Wednesday, November 6th. In addition to the this annual event Todd Anton, ...
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Salute to Al Mampre

Stories from the Road-Clarksville

Working on The Girl Who Wore Freedom team, I have learned how commemoration services in France honor and thank our veterans, while also providing moments of restoration and reconciliation. These services and celebrations also offer opportunities to educate younger French ...
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A Podcast Changed My Life

A Podcast Changed My Life

A couple of weeks ago we shared Christian Taylor's visit to The Movie Proposal Podcast in the spring of 2018. This week we would like to share how that podcast changed everything for our crew member Kyler Redding. In the ...
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Ask Christian!

Ask Christian!

Last week we shared Christian’s visit to the Movie Proposal Podcast from Spring of 2018. At that point, she was raising money and looking for volunteers just before leaving for principal photography in Normandy. A year and a half later, ...
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The Movie Proposal Podcast

The Movie Proposal Podcast

The Movie Proposal podcast is a thoughtful conversation between friends about movies. In March of 2018, they invited their friend, Christian Taylor, to share about her project The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Looking back at this podcast, you see how ...
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What Can You Do in 81 Days?

What Can You Do in 81 Days?

Last Sunday marked another 75th anniversary from World War II – the liberation of Paris. From September of 1939 to the Spring of 1940 the world watched in astonished disbelief as German armies sped through Europe occupying nation after nation ...
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What Utah Beach Taught Me

What Utah Beach Taught Me

We were sitting in the family room in their little cape cod in Elverson PA, watching Lawrence Welk. I knew it would probably be the last time I saw Pop-pop this side of heaven. I was leaving for a semester ...
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A D-Day Romance

A D-Day Romance

Normandy is a place of freedom and love. The love that the early soldiers had for the French people when they landed on their beaches, and the love that the French people have to this day for our military and ...
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Green tshirt with logo of The Girl Who Wore Freedom and the logo of Normandy Project, LLC

Now You Too Can Wear The Girl Who Wore Freedom

If you're a fan of the film you've probably seen the stylish Normandy Stories and The Girl Who Wore Freedom shirts and hats on the cast and crew during our shoots and visits to Normandy. If you've been looking for ...
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Real Life Rosie

Real Life Rosie

Early in my junior year, I was asked to choose a primary source document and research its historical context. I choose one of Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers, the first representation of Rosie the Riveter. She would become an ...
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Veterans and Director Christian Taylor in the Chicago Screening of The Girl Who Wore Freedom on July 24th, 2019

6 Questions from Our Chicago Screening

On July 24th, 2019 we had our first official focus group screening of The Girl Who Wore Freedom at the Lake Theater in Chicago, IL. This was an incredible milestone and we were glad to have some heartfelt conversations with the ...
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Gen. Eisenhower with the troops

This Great and Noble Undertaking

As the date for the landings at Normandy drew closer, General Dwight D. Eisenhower knew better than most what lay before the men under his command. In February 1944, he began writing a letter to the soldiers- many of whom ...
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Uncle John

The Right Thing to Do

Last spring, my husband and I hired a driver to show us the legendary countryside of Tuscany. Remo’s first question, “Would you like to see a beautiful cemetery?” was an unexpected surprise. As we drove south from our hotel in ...
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With a Little Help from our Friends

With a Little Help from our Friends

Friendship is a recurring theme that weaves through The Girl Who Wore Freedom. You can see the friendship that evolved between the young French children and their liberators. There are the friendships that have grown between the people of Normandy ...
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French families

While the Flag Waves

The French people in Normandy love our flag, especially in June. It hangs from shop windows, it flutters on restored army jeeps, it’s wrapped around babies and children in strollers, it’s sewn on sleeves of army jackets, and it’s printed ...
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Mauldin's Rain

Pictures of War

There is a meme with a picture of a T-Rex with his tiny little arms trying to reach the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet, the words across the top read, “The struggle is real.” It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of ...
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Heroes of Rescue Flotilla One

Heroes of Rescue Flotilla One

We have shared many stories of service and sacrifice from D-Day involving the Army and Navy but what about the Coast Guard. Many are unaware of the unique and important role the Coast Guard played on D-Day. Shortly after sunrise ...
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Remembrances of a French Village's Longest Day - Part 2

Remembrances of a French Village’s Longest Day – Part 2

This week we are excited to share part 2 from an interview by Cecile Patrix, mother of Dany Patrix-The Girl Who Wore Freedom, for the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. This piece was originally featured in the LA Times, ...
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Remembrances of a French Village's Longest Day

Remembrances of a French Village’s Longest Day

This week we are excited to share some excerpts from an interview by Cecile Patrix, mother of Dany Patrix-The Girl Who Wore Freedom, for the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. This piece was originally featured in the LA Times, ...
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Remembrances of D-Day - Part 3

Remembrances of D-Day – Part 3

We conclude our remembrance of D-Day with the rest of Dutch Schultz’ story. He finishes his account by sharing the confusing and loss her observed. Carol also shares how his experiences during the war changed her father for the worse ...
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Arthur Schultz

Remembrances of D-Day – Part 2

We continue with Carol Vento sharing her father’s, Dutch Schultz, D-Day story. Today, she shares his memories of the Normandy landing. This narrative is from a soldier’s perspective, and the descriptions reflect that reality which may not be suitable for ...
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Arthur Schultz

Remembrances of D-Day – Part 1

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Just like our friends in Normandy, we are going to take some extra time this week to listen to the story of a veteran. Today, we share part one of ...
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A WWII Veteran being hugged in France

Changing a Life with Gratitude

Many people here in the States have taken advantage of this long holiday weekend and get away with family and friends. Still more hit the pools and bar-b-que as this weekend marks the "unofficial" start of summer. Don't forget the ...
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US Troops disembarking on the beaches of Normandy

Why Is It Called Utah Beach? (A D-Day Primer)

Several months ago, while I was researching an article for The Girl Who Wore Freedom, my daughter entered the room. She watched over my shoulder as I viewed an online interview of a veteran. She asked, “Why do they keep ...
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Another Girl Who Wore Freedom

Another Girl Who Wore Freedom

Here in the States we just celebrated Mother’s Day and we would like to honor all mothers for the love and sacrifices they make for their children. This week’s blog is a special tribute from a son to his mother ...
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7 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Normandy

7 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Normandy

1. The Film Premiere Ahh, Normandy is so close I can almost feel my allergic reaction coming. For those of you who are new to our journey, last summer, I, Savannah Woods, went to Normandy with The Girl Who Wore ...
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Todd Anton on Omaha Beach

Where America’s Greatness Can Be Found

Last June I had the blessing to visit Normandy. I went to visit my father’s war. I went to France to see the nation where my father and so many of his brothers in arms became men. Somehow, I was ...
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Robert A. Miller on Utah Beach

Brothers on the Beach

The beach was calm that day, relatively speaking. Just over 24 hours before, waves of soldiers were disembarking from landing craft. Explosions and gunfire punctuated the morning air. This day was much quieter, though it was still not the vacation ...
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Blog post author and his son

10 Lessons I Learned From Normandy

Remember how I said that I hoped my last blog post would be my last blog post? Yeah, whatever. But this was predictable, wasn’t it? After all, I have shown no backbone whatsoever when it comes to turning down my ...
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A Bridge Too Far movie poster

10 War Films that Describe My Life

I did my duty. I was asked to write a blog entry by my wife, who just happens to be the producer of The Girl Who Wore Freedom, and I did it. Didn’t have to, but I did. But we ...
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The Bridge On The River Kwai movie poster

The 10 Best WWII Movies

I have been asked to write a blog entry. By the producer of The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Who happens to be my wife. I do not have to do what the producer asks me to do because I do ...
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A wall of photos with names listing each person interviewed for The Girl Who Wore Freedom

What is Post Production?

We get many questions from people that find their way to our website or one of our social media sites. One common question is “Why are you always fundraising?” The answer to the last question is there is still so ...
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320th on Omaha Beach

320th on Omaha Beach

Did you know that balloons were a crucial part of the Allies’ D-Day strategy? The 320th Very Low Altitude (VLA) barrage balloon battalion was responsible for deploying the blimps on Utah and Omaha Beaches. It was the only African-American balloon ...
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An exhibit at LAtelier for the Signal Corps - Sgt. Robert Miller

Forgotten Letters Under A Floorboard, pt. 2

This is part 2 of 2, told from the perspective of Christian Taylor, director of The Girl Who Wore Freedom. If you haven't heard Jean-Marie's story, go back and read part 1 first. In September of 2017, I traveled to ...
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Signal Corps Findings in the Sgt. Robert Miller exhibit at LAtelier

Forgotten Letters Under A Floorboard, pt. 1

Jean-Marie Caillard is cast member, friend of the film and native son of Normandy, France. He embodies the spirit of the Normandy people, continually sharing their history to ensure the memories and stories of the liberation are not lost. This ...
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Sunset

A Lesson on Light

“How do I know what’s bad light, and what’s good light?” I asked. I was in a conversation with a photographer I admired. As a young teenager new to the industry, I needed some seasoned advice. “In photography, there is ...
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Billy Cox

Trapped: Baseball and the Enduring Scars of War

He was nothing special, a typical ball player getting ready on the field. A third baseman. He was 29. It was a special All-American summer day. It was the Fourth of July 1949. The Brooklyn Dodgers were playing a doubleheader ...
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Frank Miller valentine from 1943

Waiting for Love

Our final story of a soldier in love is a little different than our previous two. Both Bernie Nygard and Allen Hopper were married men writing home to their wives and family. According to a New York Times article: “In ...
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A letter written from Normandy in 1944 from Joseph "Allen" Hopper to his daughter Patti (cropped)

My Dearest Daughter Patti

Our next story of a soldier in love comes to us from Mike Strasberg. Mike went to high school with our own Christian Taylor at The Stony Brook School. After learning about The Girl Who Wore Freedom, Mike was inspired ...
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Stack of letters labeled v-mail with an issue of LIFE magazine dated Aug 7th 1944

Because I Love You So, Bernie

In the spring of 2018, I walked into the Antiques of Winfield shop in Winfield, IL, intent on finding WWII-era items to sell at a silent auction for The Girl Who Wore Freedom. I found a stack of papers lying ...
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Flo and Dany Boucherie Greet Vincent Sparanza

I Met Love in Normandy

In my lifetime in France—a childhood cradled by its unique sounds and savors and an adulthood steeped in its contradictions, quirks and charm—I only occasionally heard references to America’s role in freeing it from horror. I knew the tales of ...
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GEN_Creighton_W_Abrams

It is never very crowded at the front

General Creighton Abrams once said, “It is never very crowded at the front.”  On June 6, 1944, the crowds of America and the world stood by and witnessed the fierce bravery of the few who gallantly stormed the beaches of ...
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"Tatay" and his nephew at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Leyte, Philippines.

Tatay’s Story

My father, Saturnino Villero, was a merchant mariner, ferrying passengers, farm animals, and agricultural produce from one island to another in the Philippines. He was at sea for days or even weeks at a time. When my mother told me ...
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Movie poster for the movie Fury

7 World War II Movies You Must See

I own more war movies than any other genre. Not that I own very many movies, mind you. I watch most films on Netflix, Amazon, or in the Theater. I also wouldn’t consider war films my favorite kinds of movies ...
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Soldiers posting for a photo with veterans

Being Disqualified for Brigade Soldier of the Year – A Blessing in Disguise

My name is Hunter Taylor and in 2015 I was a Specialist serving as a Squad Leader in a heavy weapons unit, Delta Company (Death Dealers) of the 1-506th IN REG. In April, I won the Soldier of the Year ...
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Artwork from the cover of The Resistance by Douglas Bond

The Resistance: An Excerpt from Douglas Bond

At The Normandy Project, our mission is to tell compelling stories rooted in the drama and reality of history. Our first feature film, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, documents the profound impact that DDay has had on the people of ...
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The Crew for The Girl Who Wore Freedom

A Letter of Thanks to Mr. Dill

Jacob Taylor is a Junior at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN majoring in History and Political Science. In the Spring of 2018, Jacob applied for and was granted The Dill Fund Grant at Wabash. This grant afforded Jacob the opportunity ...
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Myron and Myra Miller cropped

Myron Howard Miller, My Daddy

I remember looking for the red glow outlining the tip of his cigarette burning in the dark summer night. I knew he was out there in the yard, sitting by himself quietly, in the white wooden rocker. I didn’t realize ...
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Director Christian Taylor of The Girl Who Wore Freedom and others visiting normandy

5 Packing ‘Must Haves’ For A Trip To Normandy, France

1. American Flag Apparel During D-Day, the towns in Normandy fill-up with American and French veterans, American soldiers and families who are visiting for all of the remembrance celebrations and ceremonies. American Flag apparel was a big hit while our ...
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William Shakespeare quote: The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.

Good is Too Often Interred with the Bones

This content was originally posted in BORN TO RUN! as "BLOGGING THOUGHTS ABOUT VETERAN'S DAY 2018-2019" and has been reposted with the author's permission. I worked out this blog entry while jogging my 3 miles for the day.  Though, now ...
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New Years - Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Auld Lang Syne

A new year has begun and I am sure quite a few of us started the year singing Auld Lang Syne. I am just guessing here but most everyone, myself included, only knows the first bit and then some of ...
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Armistice Day football match at Dale Barracks between german soldiers and Royal Welsh fusiliers to remember the famous Christmas Day truce between germany and Britain

The Grinch of WWII

It's 1914 and you're a British soldier sitting in a muddy trench, wishing you were home with your family to celebrate Christmas.  This was the experience of many soldiers in the First World War.  Many soldiers all across the war ...
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Cover of the movie It's a Wonderful Life

5 WWII-Era Christmas Movies You Should Watch

‘Tis the season for warm, cozy nights spent enjoying holiday movies with loved ones. Our crew compiled a list of WWII-era films we recommend that are set around Christmas time. We've also included links to watch on Amazon Prime Music, ...
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Kids playing in rubble after bombing.

Truth Bomb

This is part 3 of 3 in a series titled Avoid the 5 Rs by guest author Peggy Sue Wells. Be sure to read Part 1: For Healthy Relationships and Part 2: Fact Versus Fiction then circle back here for part 3. “People ...
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Jeff Kurtenacker, lead composer on The Girl Who Wore Freedom, conducting

Scoring Freedom and Hope

I heard Christian Taylor’s voice long before I ever met her. I was (and still am) an avid listener of the Phil Vischer Podcast which she co-hosts with Vischer and Skye Jethani. After a few years of faithful listening to ...
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A sad expression drawn onto an egg that appears to be looking at another egg that appears happy

Fact Versus Fiction

This is part 2 of 3 in a series titled Avoid the 5 Rs by guest author Peggy Sue Wells. Be sure to read Part 1: For Healthy Relationships and come back later to check out part 3! The Girl Who Wore ...
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Woman reading a book sipping a warm beverage

3 Fantastic WWII Novels Set in France

A note from the editor: We wanted to get this post out today so that you have time to pick one of these great books before the holidays. Enjoy! “Without stories, there is nothing,” wrote acclaimed Jewish author Chaim Potok ...
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A man and a woman sitting on a dock over some water. They're facing each other and talking.

For Healthy Relationships

This is part 1 of 3 in a series titled Avoid the 5 Rs by guest author Peggy Sue Wells. When you're done, be sure to check out Part 2: Fact Versus Fiction (out now) and part 3 when it is published! ...
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The Philadelphia Inquirer's headline WW2 D-Day Invasion from June 6 1944

A Civics Test to Graduate High School? Absolutely

This content was originally posted in The Times Record as "A Civics Test to Graduate High School? Absolutely" and has been reposted with the author's permission. It was an inspiring lecture. One of my finest. And then, I brought up ...
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The Girl Who Wore Freedom crew in Normandy, France working with a group of re-enactors for the film. Photos courtesy of Savannah Woods

Ole Miss Student Helps Film WWII Documentary During Internship in France

This content was originally posted on hottytoddy.com as "Ole Miss Student Helps Film WWII Documentary During Internship in France" and has been reposted with the author's permission. Many Ole Miss upperclassman apply for internships every summer to grow and gain new job experiences ...
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An older veteran saluting a young boy who is saluting him back

Generation to Generation

I’ve been in the classroom teaching US History for nearly 30 years. While we have lessons to teach, there is a constant lesson I believe is necessary, essential rather, for students and teachers to learn and remember. That lesson is ...
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The Girl Who Wore Freedom crew at the airport with all of the gear

We Have a lot to be Thankful for in 2018

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States today, we would be remiss here at Normandy Stories if we did not reflect on everything that we have to be thankful for this year. We continue to be extremely thankful for ...
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Historical Dementia and Barbarism

Historical Dementia and Barbarism

I hope you never have to experience the blank expression of a loved one who no longer knows you, has no memory of who you are. My father-in-law died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s, a disease that tragically robs ...
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An Armistice scene outside the White House in Washington, D.C. GETTY IMAGES

Remembrance Day

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I. The armistice, or ending of hostilities, took effect at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. On this day 100 years ...
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Reenactors marching along the same path as GIs 75 years ago

GRUELING GLORY – The March on Carentan

It’s the sound of their boots I heard first, as I stood among pastures on the outskirts of Carentan. Not the ordered, rhythmic thumps of troops marching in formation, but the shuffle of soles over dirt and stone, and unintelligible ...
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A young girl waves a US flag in a Veterans day parade in NYC

Veteran’s Day

This Veterans Day, many of us will don a flag-bearing t-shirt or a stars-and-bars scarf, grab a handheld American flag, and head to town squares, VFW halls, or school auditoriums to participate in ceremonies honoring veterans. (Not sure where to ...
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French newspaper with an article about The Girl Who Wore Freedom

Read the latest article of our Project covered by the French Press

The Girl Who Wore Freedom was featured in a French Newspaper published on March 25th, 2018. Read the article ...
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