For God and Country





Hands Across the Sea


       The Memorial Certificate on the page opposite is a reproduction of that presented by the French Government to every American family that lost a member in the World War.


        The interpretation of the symbolical group is as follows:


        The principal figure of the group symbolizes the soul and spirit of the American Army which helped France to maintain alive the flame of the torch of liberty and justice.


        The sword is not in the scabbard but ready at any moment to protect and defend the weak and oppressed, symbolized in the group to the left by a mother holding her baby to her breast, and to insure freedom and justice to the coming generations, represented by the figure of the kneeling boy, praying and thanking God for deliverance. 


         At the right of the figure of a man, chained and shackled, symbolizes the spirit of evil and the victory over our enemies. Also at the right, crowning the spirit of America, stands Glory, who rejoices with the old war veteran, standing to the left of the principal figure, symbolizing the armies, which are always ready to fight for the good of humanity. 


        Universal fame is symbolized by the winged figure flying over the group and trumpeting to the world the great triumph in which the United States participated. The American eagle, poised on the staff of Peace, watches zealously, and stands ready to swoop in case our enemies again endeavor to disturb the peace of the world, so dearly acquired.


       The entire group is framed by a border of oak and laurel leaves, which are always awarded the victors.


       At the foot of the cenotaph the flags of France and America are draped and joined together by a wreath, which is the mark of gratitude and homage that France pays to our sons who gave their lives for liberty and justice.


       The lines engraved on the wall behind the group are taken from one of Victor Hugo's famous poems, and when translated read --


For those who devoutly died for their country

It is right that the people come and pray at their tombs.


The group is placed on a cenotaph on which is engraved an inscription, the following being a translation:


To the Memory of

(Name of Gold Star and Unit)

of the United States of America

Who died for Liberty during the Great War

The Homage of France

The President of the Republic.

R. Poincare




~ scanned and submitted by Paula Hinkel