WWI commemorative events in the Aisne, Picardy region

American volunteers at the Château de Blérancourt
Franco-American Museum at the Château de Blérancourt
Somme Bony Cemetery
WWI Western Front
Press release
  • World War I Centennial Ceremony to mark the first U.S. Offensive

May 26, 2018, at 3:00pm

To coincide with Memorial Day weekend, Somme American Cemetery in France will host a ceremony on May 26, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. that honors both Memorial Day and the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. Offensive of World War I. Attendance is free and open to the public.

Somme American Cemetery – 02420 Bony – T : +33 (0)3 23 66 87 20

98 miles northeast of Paris.

  • Memorial Day 2018 at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery

May 27, 2018, at 3:00 p.m

To commemorate the memory of the American war dead who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, the American Battle Monuments Commission and the American Overseas Memorial Day Association, Inc. have the honor to invite you to the Memorial Day ceremony.

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery – 02130 Seringes-et Nesles – T : +33 (0)3 23 82 21 81

70 miles northeast of Paris

  • World War I Centennial Ceremony to Mark Battle of Belleau Wood and Operations in the Aisne-Marne Region

May 27, 2018, at 9:45am

The centennial commemoration of the battle of Belleau Wood and the Memorial Day 2018 ceremony will be both held on Sunday 27 May 2018 at 09:45am at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau. This ceremony will be organized by The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). This ceremony will include speeches from the military authorities and a wreath laying. Military units of the nations involved in the fighting at Belleau Wood in 1918 will be present and joined by military bands.

Aisne Marne Cemetery – 02400 Belleau – T : +33(0)3 23 70 70 90

98 miles northeast of Paris.

  • Inauguration of the Château-Thierry American Monument Visitor Center on Hill 204

May 27, 2018, at (All day)

Since 2016, The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) undertakes important renovation work at the Château-Thierry American Monument on Hill 204. A new 200 square meters (2000 square feet) Visitor Center is born from this project and retraces the engagement of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I in particular in the South of the Aisne between June and August 1918. This new Visitor Center should open to the public in April 2018 and the entrance will be free of charge. It will be open every day from 10:00am until 5:00pm.

Aisne Marne Cemetery – 02400 Belleau – T : +33(0)3 23 70 70 90

  • ‘Winds and Words of War WWI Poster Exhibit’ at Château de Blérancourt—The Franco-American Museum

From June 15th to August 27th, 2018

The elegant seventeenth-century château witnessed the ravages of the French Revolution and the 'Great War' [World War I]. When the tide of battle turned in the latter conflict, 1917, Anne Morgan, daughter of the wealthy American John Pierpont Morgan, organized at Blérancourt a group of American women volunteers who delivered medical and social services to the local French population which had been severly traumatized by the war. In 1918, the Armistice was signed in a railroad car parked in the nearby woods. Anne Morgan's work continued until the French authorities were able to assume the tasks. In 1931, Blérancourt became a French national museum on Franco-American Cooperation. The unique collection informs visitors of the American participation in the Great War, highlighting the activities of Anne Morgan's American Committee for Devastated France; of the first American 'fly boys', the Lafayette Flying Corps; of the volunteer ambulance drivers, especially those of the American Field Service.

From the San Antonio Public Library (Texas), this ‘Winds and Words of War WW1 Poster’ exhibit brings together about forty American propaganda posters created during the Great War. It showcases an advertising medium used to induce the United States to abandon a position isolationist and support its European allies against German offensives. Using heroic images and patriotic slogans, the lithographs were to encourage support for troops by describing military and civilian efforts. The posters were created by a group of American artists, including Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, Guy Lipscombe, Charles Buckle Falls, Haskell Coffin and Norman Rockwell. Created by curator Allison Hays Lane, Director, OLANA Group, this exhibition is now circulating in Europe thanks to the support of Bexar County, Texas, to enhance the role of the San Antonio military bases. Thousands of American soldiers were trained there before their departure for England and France, and its air bases foreshadowed the creation of the American Air Force.

Château de Blérancourt - 02300 Blérancourt - T : +33 (0)3 23 39 60 16 -

75 miles northeast of Paris

  • Camille Claudel country pays tribute to the Rainbow soldiers

July, 28, 2018 (All day)

On July 26th, 1918, at the Croix Rouge Farm, the 42nd U.S. Infrantry Division – the Rainbow Division- bravely mastered a formidable German defenses. A Pieta, gifted by Nimrod T. Frazer, sculpted by James Butler, was erected on the battlefield. On July 28th, Camille Claudel country will pay tribute to the Rainbow soldiers (in partnership with the United States World War One Centennial Commission) : commemoration at the Oise-Aisne American cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles ; ceremony at the 42nd Division Memorial followed by a jazz concert ; pyrotechnic show at the Fantômes of Landowski ; exhibitions at Fère-en-Tardenois.

Mairie – 02130 Fère-en-Tardenois – Email : contact@ville-ferentardenois.com

74 miles northeast of Paris

  • World War I Centennial Ceremony to Mark American Units Fighting with the British Armies in France during the War

August 7, 2018, at (All day)

A ceremony at Bellicourt Monument in France on August 7, 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of American units fighting with the British Armies in France during World War I. Attendance is free and open to the public. The ceremony start time will be determined closer to the date of the event.

Somme American Cemetery – 02420 Bony – T : +33 (0)3 23 66 87 20

  • Soldiers of all colors (poilus, tirailleurs, black devils) walking towards peace

September, 14-15-16, 2018

We will salute all the soldiers in their diversity. We will salute the work of the civilians, the “American Ladies” who gave their support to the soldiers and to the people who came back home. We will salute Brotherhood. We will salute the return to Peace. We will also affirm our will to maintain the memory of the devotions and sacrifices of the Great War as well as our will to constantly work towards peace between people. Walk in the footsteps of the soldiers to the ‘Mont des Singes’ at Vauxaillon, ceremonies, concert at the cathedral of Laon, jazz concert at Soissons, exhibitions at Blérancourt, conferences, inauguration of the 370th US Infantry Regiment war grave…

Mairie – 02320 Vauxaillon – Email : mairie-de-vauxaillon@orange.fr

NB : American Battle Monuments Commission This independent Agency of the American Federal Government honors the services, the actions and the sacrifices of the American Armed Forces who served on Foreign soil since April 6, 1917. The ABMC administers, operates and maintains 26 permanent American burial grounds and 29 separate memorials, monuments and markers, on foreign soil. It also maintains three memorials in the United States.

Photos : Colin – Château de Blérancourt / Poirier - Mathieu Farcy –Garbacz– FX. Dessirier – Maison du Tourisme de Château-Thierry – Viltart – ABMC – Balesse – Cambon


Christelle Clement
Agence Aisne Tourisme
03 23 27 76 77