Naval Monument at Brest Dedication in 1937

The Naval Monument at Brest Dedication is one of thirteen segments featured in the "America Honors Her Heroes" film. The film is the Official Record of the Dedication Ceremonies in 1937 at the American World War Memorials and Cemeteries in Europe. It was taken under the auspices of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: Located at an old fortification, which overlooks the harbor of Brest, this memorial commemorates the brilliant achievements of the American Navy. The official party arrives and passes in front of the sailors of the U.S.S. Kane, which was sent to Brest for the occasion.

[music plays]

Admiral Devin, the senior French naval officer of Brest delivers an address.

ADMIRAL DEVIN: In front of these distinguished American senators and congressmen, and the eleven people accompanying them, I will confine myself to only speaking of the navy and evoke the memory of our brothers in arms, of our friends from this American division of Brest and our pride at hosting them…

NARRATOR: Judge Finis J. Garrett, of the American Battle Monuments Commission, makes the introductory address. The first part of which is a message from General Pershing, who is unable to attend.

JUDGE GARRETT: It would be quite impossible for me, speaking in my former capacity as Commanding General of the American Expeditionary Forces, to express adequately my appreciation and admiration for the heroic and unselfish contribution made by the Navy during the war. Of the two million American soldiers who crossed the ocean under the safeguard of the Navy, there is not one who has not many times, in the depths of his heart, thanked the Navy. We desire in this particular and special way. On behalf of our government, we pay tribute to the services, rendered by the Navy. That I present the Honorable Richard Russell, a United States Senator from the state of Georgia.

[applause]

RICHARD RUSSELL: Judge Garrett, Mr. Ambassador, Admiral, Mr. Senator Mayor , ladies and gentlemen, we have just concluded a sacred pilgrimage as representatives of the government of the United States to dedicate the battle monuments our nation has erected in France. Each of them marks a spot where the heroism of American soldiers in battle added luster to the glory of our republic. We have stood in solemn silence in the chapels that are surrounded by the brave soldiers marking the last resting place of those who fell in the cause of liberty.

NARRATOR: The monument is dedicated by Ambassador Josephus Daniels, the American wartime Secretary of the Navy and a member of the official delegation.

AMBASSADOR DANIELS: …in 1781, today however, as we dedicate a memorial to the heroes of the American Navy, and likewise to the French, it is fitting to appraise the obligation of America in 1917 owed to France in the days of American Revolution. In (Indiscernible), Washington felt the necessity for strong naval support, and agreed with his French comrade, Rochambeau, who wrote, “Nothing without Naval supremacy.” Washington displayed genius of a kind to send in French and American troops into the major attack until he could depend upon naval superiority. In our day, as in the time of Lafayette…that the unity of the American republic has served us in our time of danger and his prophecy, it will save the world.) [American national anthem plays]