Painting for peace
Ste Mere Eglise
Madame Renaud
  Operation Democracy Celebrates 10YR Anniversary of Rekindled Mission & Welcomes French Students to Historic Sister City of Locust Valley

The Community is encouraged to come greet and welcome our Normandy guests to Locust Valley!

All Veterans are welcome!

 The original Operation Democracy was heartfelt movement that spread the concepts of freedom, democracy and peace through goodwill, was born in Locust Valley (1947) and lives on in the community today. This organization is   celebrating 10 years of hard work and dedication through many educational projects with our Veterans and students of our local schools.


 These projects and programs include: like: Veterans Day Remembered (LVMS), IPADS for Wounded Soldiers (LVMS), Painting for Peace (LVHS), International Student Art Show (LVHS), Flags for Freedom LVHS, supporting the Student Normandy Remembered Project (Friends Academy & Portledge), International Student Painting for Peace Art Exhibit (LVHS), Rollin for Liberation (WWII Remembered) as well as being supporters of local American Legion but most importantly remembering the efforts of Martha Breasted and citizens of LV in1947 and the history with Normandy (Founding Sister City to Sainte Mere Eglise). 

  The past 10 years through passion and enthusiasm, Kaye Weninger and Cathy Soref have worked to honor this organization by creating projects/programs/events to educate the future generation about previous generations. Together, these ladies have journeyed to Sainte Mere Eglise during D-Day to rekindle the bond of friendship created 68 years ago. 

 Next week, on March 9 & 10, Operation Democracy will be hosting 34 students from Carantan and Cherbourg High School, 6 teachers as well as Mayor Mayor Quetier of Sainte Mere Eglise, Mayor L’Honneur of Carentan, Philippe Gosselin, the “Depute du Manche” which is equivalent to a US Congressman and Maurice Renaud of the AVA (Amis des Veterans Americans), from Normandy, France. Mr. Patrick Fissot, organized this trip for the Normandy students. The students will be shadowing students from local schools- Friends Academy and Portledge and will be staying with host families in the community. During their visit, the students will learn about the historic relationship between the two villages of Locust Valley and Sainte Mere Eglise as well as visit Sagamore Hill and the Cradle of Aviation. They will visit Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt Jr home, who landed on Utah Beach and was buried in Sainte Mere Eglise until being moved to Omaha Beach. The Veterans from the Howard Van Wagner American Legion Post 962 will host the group for dinner on their first night in the community. 

 Operation Democracy with the support of the Locust Valley Historic Society will host a community reception on March 10th, Thursday from6-8pm at the Locust Valley Library. Kaye Weninger, President of OD, invites anyone in the community to join us to welcome the students, teachers, the Mayors and the Depute du Manche, to our community.  The students will give a presentation about their villages in Normandy, the beaches and history of D-Day.  Display will be set up about the history of Operation Democracy as well as samples of Painting for Peace. Mayor Quetier, Mayor L’Honneur and Philippe Gosselin as well as TOB Councilwoman Michelle Johnson and Mayor Clarence Michalis(WWII Veteran) will speak. Special Guests will be the Normandy visitors and we wish to honor any WWII in attendance. 

In 1952, Edith Wycoff, editor of the Leader wrote a story about Operation Democracy, as it says a lot about our history and is relevant to today. Each year Operation Democracy grows stronger as it strikes deep into the imagination of thoughtful men and women everywhere who are unselfishly seeking peace. These are not appeasers or idealists both men and women who know that real peace can only come through understanding of the people who make up the world. They know that exchange of ideas of one good way of accomplishing this...When the idea becomes widespread enough there cannot help but be a better feeling in the world.

Operation Democracy hopes to continue to find ways to pass down the lessons of our history to the next generations so that they will “NEVER FORGET” the cost of Freedom, Democracy and Peace. For more information: 516.637.8496.


The newly rekindled Operation Democracy seeks to carry on the legacy from the original Operation Democracy (formed in 1947) from a humanitarian, non-partisan perspective through culture, education, children and the community of the hamlet of Locust Valley and the surrounding areas.

The original Operation Democracy was conceived in Locust Valley, New York in 1947 as a grass roots effort to supplement the Marshall Plan. Underlying this movement, Operation Democracy was an exciting enterprise, containing all the best elements of human impulse; it was a spontaneous gesture in response to humanitarian need.  It was a hands on project, a citizen’s grass roots effort from a non-governmental, non-political perspective; immediately, generous and genuine.

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Citizens of Locust Valley popularized the concept of “sister cities” by adopting Sainte Mere Eglise, the first town liberated during the invasion of Normandy. Our hometown hero, Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, who led the charge in the first wave on Utah beach, was buried alongside 15,000 American soldiers in Sainte Mere Eglise. Within a year nearly 200 American cities had followed Locust Valley’s lead, adopting sister cities all over the world.  (Creating Sister Cities International in 1956 by President Eisenhower.) The legacy continues today with hundreds of towns all over the world perpetuating this tradition of friendship.

With the newly released documentary (2010), “Mother of Normandy”, the rekindled Operation Democracy seeks to carry on this legacy from a humanitarian, non-partisan perspective, with the reinstitution of their historic concept- the belief that peace cannot be achieved by governments alone but must start in the hearts of people themselves.  It was felt that no government process could be a substitute for human understanding and that some way had to be found for the average American to do something about peace.

This non-profit organization will be working with the local schools as their goals will be to not only education students about humanitarianism but will be used a educational, cultural and community events exchange between the schools. 


  1. Fund and sponsor an educational program in a war torn area.
  2. Fund and sponsor students and faculty from a war torn area to visit our local schools during the school semester.
  3. Our ultimate goal is to work towards identifying an appropriate town in any war torn area to adopt and establish an enduring, meaningful relationship while supplying educational and economic assistance in coordination with local officials about the needs of the children. 
Resurrecting Operation Democracy is a way of reestablishing, refueling and propelling once again the strength of the American character, the courage of the American heart. We CAN help others less fortunate by educating those children who are in need.  There are so many worthwhile humanitarian needs around the world.