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Marking the Centenary of the First World War in the Aisne

This year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. Numerous commemorative events are taking place across France, and we have compiled a Remembrance Tourism Guide [1] for travellers making trips to the Western Front.

Particularly of interest to American visitors are the sites in the Aisne department [2], including Château-Thierry, which was the location of a pivotal battle that helped bring an end to the Great War. Don’t miss the Château-Thierry American Monument, situated high on Côte 204, which also offers a visitor’s center and museum. We also recommend spending time nearby in the Bois de Belleau, where the U.S. 2nd Division, especially American marines, fought bravely to halt the German advance.

[Related article: Anne Morgan, “A Great Friend of France” [3]]

American Memorial Church in Château-Thierry. Photo: Antoine FLEURY-GOBERT / Wikimedia Commons

Also stop by the American Memorial Church [4] in Château-Thierry, which was constructed as a “living memorial built in memory of the US soldiers and marines who were killed in the area in World War I.” The stained glass window is remarkable in its celebration of Franco-American friendship: depicting the moment when General Pershing arrived in France with American soldiers in 1917, saluting Lafayette, as he famously paid his respects at Lafayette’s tomb in Picpus Cemetery in Paris.

To commemorate this important year, a team of passionate locals has come together to produce a special champagne gift box showcasing images from the stained glass window. (After all, the Aisne is champagne country, and these cuvées have been specially crafted for the occasion.) Guide/historian JB Capar has collaborated with pâtissier Jerome Dubief and two local champagne producers (Champagne Philippe Defollet and Champagne Lévêque- Dehan) to launch this coffret commémoratif— which also includes a box of bonbons made from cornflowers and poppies— the symbolic flowers of Remembrance.

Purchase directly from the website (https://champagnephilippedefollet.com [5]) or at the following local establishments: Hotel des Templiers and Hotel Mercure in Reims; Hotel Campanile, Hotel Ibis, Best Western and Hotel Hexagone in Chateau-Thierry; Château de Fère and Chateau de la Marjolaine.

commemorative champagne gift box
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