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  Journey to the Cemetery   


On August 3, 1930 we departed Paris by bus at 7:15 AM enroute to the cemetery where Leo is buried.
Along the way we drove through many beautiful little villages - all still showing signs of the ravages of war. Two of the towns we went through before reaching Montmirail were Meaux and La Ferte-sous-Jouarre.  On the way back from the cemetery we again passed through the little village of La Ferte-sous-Jouarre.


La Ferte-sous-Jouarre

Arrived at Montmirail at 10:00 AM and had a rest stop at Hotel du Vert Galant.

Arrived in Chalons-Sur-Marne at 1:00PM and had a late lunch at the
Hotel Haute-Mere-Dieu

Our escort has informed us that it was here in this village the French government’s Unknown Soldier and also the Unknown Soldier for America were selected.


Historical Note: The Unknown WWI Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery: On October 22, 1921, one Unknown from four American military cemeteries (Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel Cemeteries) was selected from among the Unknowns  “which represented the remains of soldiers of which there was absolutely not the slightest indication as to name, rank, organization or date of death.”  (from Quartermaster report that can be read at: The four Unknowns were disinterred and brought to the town hall in Chalons-sur-Marne (today Chalons-en-Champagne) where they were given full military honors. One of the pallbearers, Sergeant Edward F. Younger – a decorated infantryman – was asked to place a white rose on one of the caskets in the town hall. Once the selection process was completed, the three remaining Unknowns were brought to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and interred in Plot G, Row 1, Grave numbers 1, 2, and 3 (also from Quartermaster report). Each of their graves is marked with:  “Here rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God”. They, along with all the other Unknown Soldiers of all wars, found the chance of battle to be doubly against them. They were fated to die and lose even their names in addition to their lives.


Arrived Sainte Meinhould at 4:15 PM and had a rest stop at the Modern Hotel.

We arrived in Verdun at 6:15 PM, had dinner and were lodged at
various hotels in the city. 



Verdun was severally bombarded during the war and was almost destroyed.
Rebuilding is still going on.

Will go to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery tomorrow to visit Leo’s grave.

Continue the Journey


Copyright 2008 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 1, 2008
Jan. 9, 2009