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Commemorating the United States entrance into WWI

Commemorating the United States entrance into WWI

Published on June 20, 2017
A full day of programming, on July 1, in New York City, as part of the ongoing series commemorating French-American friendship during World War I

On July 1, the French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French Consulate in New York will present a series of programs and presentations tied to its year long initiative,"How 1917 Changed the World: A Centennial Commemoration of the United States Entrance Into World War One", a major cultural and educational program highlighting the 100th anniversary of this critical year of change.

Launched in late March, this initiative will further expand its offerings with a day-long celebration of events, exhibitions and experiences at locations throughout New York City on July 1.

"From music to military maneuvers, 1917 was a time of extraordinary cultural exchange and political support on both sides of the Atlantic," said Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of France to the United States Bénédicte de Montlaur. "These July 1 events—and our overall How 1917 Changed the World—bring to life the breadth of America’s pivotal role in changing the course of history. In addition to the incredible docket of jazz music and the impressive photography exhibition, we’re particularly pleased to be able to present the Legion of Honor awarding ceremony." "These events further underscore the ongoing commitment and strong relationship between France and the U.S. for over 200 years."

"This year, we commemorate a time of unwavering Franco-American friendship, when the star-spangled banner and tricolor flew side by side on the battlefield, when the hearts of French and American soldiers beat in unison, when France and the U.S. joined hands to become brothers in arms," said New York Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre.

"2017 marks a new stage in remembering World War One 100 years later" said Joseph Zimet, Director General of the French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale. "A century after the first American servicemen arrived on French soil, France is proud to honor the American memory of World War One by rediscovering an amazingly rich historical heritage. Merci l’Amérique, Thank you America !"

The program

  • Arrival of the Queen Mary 2 at the Verrazano Bridge: an ambitious program aimed at revisiting one hundred years of American influence on sports and culture. On the 100th anniversary of the American allies landing in Saint-Nazaire, France, The Bridge 2017 will celebrate a century of exchanges and cultural legacies between both countries. Witness the spectacular arrival of the boat on the morning of July 1. Time: around 7am
  • Opening of "Merci ! 1917-2017, Remember": a photography exhibition curated by French journalist and news anchor Jean-Claude Narcy. Featuring 50 photos illustrating the commitment of the U.S. to WWI efforts, this day-long exhibition offers a sneak peek of the extended show which will open in the Fall with an important moment on November 11, 2017. Jean-Claude Narcy will also conduct a guided tour in English and French at 3pm on that day. Time: 11am (exhibition opens); tour: 3pm to 3:30pm
  • Legion of Honor awarding Ceremony: Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte and known as France’s highest distinction, the Legion of Honor is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements on behalf of France or its ideals. Typically held in private places, this rare public ceremony will feature the presentation of the Presidential award, by General Puga, Grand Chancellor of the Order, to approximately 20 WWII veterans at Central Park’s Bandshell. Time: 3:30pm to 4:15pm
  • A Free SummerStage Evening : an homage to 100 years of American music and the celebration of the arrival of Jazz on European shores in 1917. Co-produced by the Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with New York Hot Jazz Festival, the lineup includes Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks with Catherine Russell; Avalon Jazz Band; and Aurora. Time: 5pm-10pm at the Rumsey Playground

All events are open to the public and free. For a complete list of events and details of the year long celebration, please visit

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