Liberation of Rombas, Lorraine – Story of Friendship

Liberation Ceremony at Rombas, Lorraine (DOS Photo)
Liberation Ceremony at Rombas, Lorraine (DOS Photo)

Consul General Amy P. Westling was very happy to participate in the 70th commemoration ceremony of the liberation of Rombas in Lorraine, France on September 14, 2014.

Captain Jim Henderson and his men of the Army 243rd Field Artillery Battalion’s Battery A freed the people of Rombas in October 1944 during the Allied Liberation of France during World War II.  The villagers from Rombas called him Capt. Chewing Gum because he threw gum to the children as his unit entered Rombas.  One of these children was Ms. Jeannine Blaszczyk, who became to be called Ms. Lipstick as she wore some for the men of the Army Artillery battalion.

Capt. Henderson has passed away, but the village continues to commemorate his deeds, bravery and friendship, and have honored him and his men with a Memorial.  Capt. Henderson’s family from the United States still continues to come to Rombas, Lorraine to participate in commemoration ceremonies in honor of their father and grandfather.  The story of Rombas and Capt. Henderson and his men has become a wonderful story of friendship between France and the United States.

The U.S. Consulate General in Strasbourg was very fortunate to have been able to participate in the commemoration ceremony to honor Capt. Henderson and his men.  Consul General Westling quoted President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address where the latter stated:

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for the living, rather. It is for the living rather to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–

Your family members fought for freedom, democracy and peace – that we live in today.  They did not fight in vain; those who died did not die in vain.