Bellicourt American Monument Dedication in 1937
The Bellicourt Monument 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.
NARRATOR: North of Bellicourt over a canal tunnel constructed by Napoleon is this monument, which commemorates the achievements of the 90,000 American soldiers who served in battle with the British Army in France. General Pershing, distinguished French officials, and French war veterans arrive. Narrator: The introductory address is made by Brigadier General J.B.P. Clayton Hill, a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission.
GENERAL HILL: In the region of the Somme, the American 27th and 30th Divisions, forming our 2nd Corps, went into the front line with the British Army to attack the formidable Hindenburg line. On this part of the front, the Hindenburg line followed roughly along the St. Quentin Canal, and made use of that obstacle as a primary feature of its defense.
NARRATOR: General Lheritier of the French Army, pays a tribute to the American forces.
GENEARL LHERITIER: It was only necessary for them to see them to have their hope renewed. The populations of the villages of Champagne and Lorraine welcomed them everywhere with joy. The people were helpful and they never complained.
NARRATOR: To the delight of all war veterans, the band of the French 1st Infantry Regiment plays the famous war song, La Madeline.
NARRATOR: Representative J. Walter Lambeth, member of the Congress of the United States from North Carolina, and one of the official American delegation, makes an inspiring dedicatory address, at the conclusion of which, the monument is unveiled.
WALTER LAMBETH: We come this morning to dedicate the monument here at Bellicourt. While not one of the largest of the memorials, it is nonetheless impressive in the same dignity and simplicity, which have characterized these monuments. We are nearing the end of a solemn pilgrimage dedicating monuments on the battlefields of France and Belgium where American soldiers fought side by side with their British and French Allies in the greatest drama, yea, the greatest tragedy in human history. Beginning August 1st at Montfaucon, where the largest concentration of American troops in the military in the history of our Republic, went forward to complete victory, and ending this afternoon at Cantigny where our forces made their first attack, and where another glorious victory was won by our gallant soldiers. While it can not be said that the battle fought here, or any one battle in the entire war, was the decisive engagement in the sense of Gettysburg or Waterloo, it is a fact of military record and history that here, for the first time, the Hindenburg line was smashed, and thereafter, the enemy was intermittently retreating.
[applause] [music plays-American national anthem]
NARRATOR: The sculptured figures represent valor and remembrance.
[music plays- national anthem continues]