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Operation Democracy President Honored in Normandy June 2016

     

          Seventy-two years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied troops waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. Each year the communities in northern France pay tribute to the heroism of all these young men who fought to liberate America’s oldest ally from Nazi occupation. Without their service and sacrifice, our world would be a darker place.

       D-Day many communities in Normandy hold small ceremonies and moments of remembrance on June 6, 1944. This date was a pivotal moment in World War II history. Today, there are few veterans left to

attend these ceremonies and the ones who are making this journey to these sacred grounds are in their 90s. The people of France welcome them with honor and respect always vowing to let them know they will “Never Forget”.

         This past D-Day marked a special moment for our community of Locust Valley to be proud of, Kaye Weninger, President of Operation Democracy was presented with a special Senat Medal at for her work with Operation Democracy and for her dedication to educating the children, the future generation while always remembering the veterans.
Kaye was presented this medal by Phillippe Bas, the President of the Senate de la Manche, at the Cabbage Patch Ceremony in Carentan. She received this medal with 7 WWII Veterans. This was a special honor for her and was very humble to receive this medal especially to be given it with these heroes.

       Kaye commented, “I am still overwhelmed I received this medal. 10 years ago Operation Democracy resurfaced in Locust Valley and I have had the honor and privilege to rekindle this charity with my friend Cathy Soref. This has been a beautiful chapter in my life,the stories, the friendships, the work with the kids, the support from the community of Locust Valley for all the projects; events will forever be in my heart. I will treasure this medal always.  I accept this with honorof the original Operation Democracy of 1947 and Martha Breasted and also in honor of our Veterans especially the ones I hold so dear to my heart at Post 962- Thank you.  “ This award even has more meaning for her, as she remembers and honors her Great-Uncle James Handboy, who landed on Omaha Beach, June 7th, 1944, which she stated, reminds her everyday to vow to never forget and honor our veterans today, tomorrow and in the future. It has been a privilege to serve as President of this meaningful organization. We must always remember it is not about one person or one group it all about the who benefits from what we have done.  
The beautiful story of Operation Democracy resurfaced 10 years ago this year and through the dedication and enthusiasm of Kaye and Cathy. They have been determined to rekindle this charity while honoring the origin organization from 1947. They both have been acknowledged for their focus (In France-Cathy received Legion of Honor in 2014 and Kaye this year) on finding ways to work with the children both in Normandy and America through Operation Democracy’s mission: to spread the concepts of freedom, democracy and peace through goodwill and education.

      This past D-Day in Normandy marked the 72nd commemorations of a day never to be forgotten in our history- June 6th, 1944. The children from the school in Normandy that visited Locust Valley in March read this at the beginning of the ceremonies on June 3rd, where Kaye Weninger received her medal. Kaye thought it was important as we educate our young students to see this letter from them and especially the last line...

 

Dear Officials, Esteemed Veterans, Ladies and gentlemen,

     Last March, we were lucky to discover the United States of America, in particular Kentucky and the state of New York. This was made possible within the framework of an educational stay organized by our high school Sivard de Beaulieu, from CARENTAN, with the cooperation of numerous partners (Operation Democracy).
During 10 days, we shared the everyday life of our correspondents and that of the American people in general, at Winchester, Locust Valley and Manhattan. We were able to measure how strong the links are, between, on one side, our city, our region or our country and, on the other one the United States of America.
     Our two countries are linked by a History and a common destiny, which forged, years after years, their identity, since Lafayette up to the painful attacks of 2001 and 2015, without forgetting the hot days of summer, 1944.
     In front of these events, our two countries knew how to, each time, remain united and rise to defend the values of freedom and democracy which they shared.
     That’s the reason why, here, today, we are proud to thank very warmly the American veterans who are there, without forgetting their brothers-in-arms who have disappeared since the war and those who fell during the fights, for their commitment and their sacrifice, for our freedom.
     As a young generation, at the same time as high school students but also as citizens, we’ll never forget to keep in memory these events of the History, here at the "Cabbage Patch "  or anywhere else, and we'll keep using  their knowledge, to guide our conduct and our choices. It is at this price that we’ll always be able to protect the values which unite our two countries and which were carried and defended by our predecessors.
     Our grandparents were able to count on you in 1944, you must be able to rely on our commitment, for the future,

Ladies and Gentlemen, we thank you,
The Students of Caranten High School, Normandy, France