This week’s visit to the White House by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte brought with it an emotional reminder for the United States Marine Corps: they brough a sapling from Belleau Wood with them. Mr. Macron and President Trump together planted the tree in the south lawn of the White House as the official three day visit began.
The tree from the Belleau Wood grew from the earth where the blood of your soldiers was spilled to defend France. https://t.co/6qDE5TXBxr
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018
“(Marquis de) Lafayette came, when you decided to be a free country. He came from France, he helped the United States to exist. During the First World War, during the Second World War, when we were attacked, when our liberty was attacked, thousands of your young people came here and died here for my country. That’s a story of our relationship..” Emmanuel Macron
June 1 will be the start of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Belleau Wood – 1918-2018.
Tradition has it that the Battle of Belleau Wood is where Marines obtained the nickname “Devil Dogs.” It was the last desperate attempt of the Germans to launch an offensive in WWI. The 4th Marine brigade stopped them. More than 4,000 Marines were killed in the 20 day battle, but they held the line and forced the German army back. The French 6th Army renamed the forest “Woods of the Marine brigade” in honor of their sacrifice.
The sapling is a gift from the heart of the French President. Though they disagree on several issues, Macron appears to like our rowdy President, and acknowledges the United States’ committment to the friendship of real allies. Thank you, Mr. Macron for honoring the memories of the Marines who died on your soil.