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The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial
America’s first combat aviators, those magnificent boys in their flying machines of the Lafayette Escadrille, are memorialized at two sites in the Paris area. The young men, many of them students, left America to fight for France against Germany before the U.S. entered WWI in 1917; among them were Dartmouth alumni William T. Ponder, Florimonde Duke ‘17, Warren T. Hobbs ‘19, and Ernest A. Giroux ‘19. Hobbs and Giroux did not make it back home.
A small memorial to the flyboys’ effort and sacrifice stands in the Place des Etats-Unis in the 16th arrondissement, not far from our apartment, but a more substantial one lies in the Paris suburb of Marnes-la-Coquette, near Versailles. The Marnes-la-Coquette monument was privately funded, having been constructed with monies from the pilots’ families and other private donors. In 1930, William Nelson Cromwell endowed the monument, and today the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation supports it.
The Escadrille’s (the French word for squadron) American Indian symbol (above) is testament to the evolution of varied types of iconography and symbols through the years.
Money can be donated to the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation for the monument’s upkeep. An effort is currently underway to have the U.S. government’s American Battle Monuments Commission maintain it. In addition to being a memorial, a crypt below the arch is the final resting place for 49 United States fighting men, who lie in a corner of a foreign field that is forever America.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…