2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment
Public Affairs Office
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No. 090091801 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Story by 1LT RYAN PORTE
Luneville, France – Flags were flying, buttons were shining, and old-fashioned military vehicles were reliving a moment of glory in full military regalia in the small town of Lunéville, France. Last week, Soldiers of the 1st Squadron of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based out of Rose Barracks, Germany traveled to Lunéville to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the town’s liberation and learned a little bit about their lineage in the process.
Combining the celebration with a battlefield staff ride, 66 members began their voyage by examining the effects that the Regiment had on the Lorraine campaign, a push by the 7th and 3rd U.S. Armies during their march to Germany in the summer of 1944. “This was the site where a young American lieutenant in charge of a platoon of tank destroyers killed a whole column of German armor!” said with obvious enthusiasm by Sam Doss, one of the historians given the task of bringing the old battlefield to life. Throughout the battlefield tour, the unit learned to recognize the advantages and disadvantages both had, Americans and Germans had in regards to terrain, material, and weaponry.
The real excitement began early in the morning on the September 18 with a gathering of men, equipment, and an exchange of ideas and culture. In the middle of a field, right past an old railroad track which leads into town, the city dedicated a new memorial honoring the sacrifices of American Soldiers during the war. Led by Lt. Col Douglas Simms the 1st Squadron Commander, the War Eagles took part in the dedication standing alongside a contingent of French Soldiers as a crowd full of veterans looked on.
Following the ceremony, 2SCR Soldiers spent time talking with their French partners and received many word of praise and thanks from the locals.
“When I saw women blowing kisses to us from their balconies and children waving American flags, I could almost imagine how it must have been for our grandfathers” said 2nd Lieutenant Patrick Martin, riding to the center square of Lunéville in a WWII era Jeep.
Throughout the day, the American Soldiers and the French people of Lunéville honored more than just the sacrifice of American Soldiers. They also honored General Alexander Patch, the U.S. 7th Army commander who set up his headquarters in and, began reconstruction of the town of Lunéville. They celebrated the liberation of the town by conducting a pass and review of the American and French military formations while French school children sang “The Star Spangled Banner”. The official ceremonies ended when the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment Commander, Colonel James Blackburn, placed a wreath, along with several other dignitaries, between the Lunéville French Resistance plaque and the 79th Infantry plaque on a wall behind the town’s chateaux gardens.
That evening, the French delegates wanted nothing more than to thank the American Soldiers for their presence at this historic event.
“You [1-2SCR] added greatly to our ceremonies with your beautiful uniforms [and] have deeply impressed the people of Lunéville” said French Sergeant Major M. Philippe Sugg.