National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
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Rochambeau Chapter - Activities

The Rochambeau Chapter organizes four regular meetings each year, on a quarterly basis, as well as an annual dinner or luncheon.  Thae annual meeting is held each during the first quarter.

Guest speakers are often invited to join members on these occasions.  Recent discussion topics have concerned: the Maison d'Education de la Légion d'Honneur (Saint Denis); the war memories of flight military nurse, Geneviève de Galard, known as "The Angel of Den Bien Phu" (1954); Tocqueville's America; the Fulbright Foundation's activities in France, etc.

In addition, other informal meetings are proposed.  A recent example is the Women's Issues Group, launched in 2011, for informal exchanges between members on themes relating to family, genealogy, professional interests, hobbies, health, etc.  Another example concerns the informal contacts between the chapter's "Junior" members (< 35 years). Informal exchanges are also organized with members and associate members residing outside France when they visit Paris.

Visits to historical sites, in and around the Paris area, and in France, are organized yearly, often with the participation of C.A.R. members and their families.  Some recent examples include:  the NSDAR memorial site in the town of Tilloloy (Somme); WWI and WWII commemoration sites in the Meuse and Normandy regions; the Désert de Retz in Chambourcy; the Château in Saint-Gemain-en-Laye; the historical landmarks in Paris honoring French and American heroes who fought for American Independence (1775-1783).

Chapter members also join veterans, public authorities and representatives of other French/American associations for commemorative ceremonies held throughout the year in the Paris area: Memorial Day (the last weekend in May); Independence Day (July 4);the tribute to the victims of "9/11" (September 11);  Armitice Day (November 11).

Among the special projects that have been organized in recent years are :

- April, 2003: a four-day event to celebrate the bicentennial of the purchase of Louisiana in 1803 by the United States Government from Napoleon Bonaparte; a first gathering of DAR European chapters in 2004;

- October, 2006: a trip to the United States on the occasion of the 225th anniversary of Yorktown;

- September, 2008: the 225th anniversary commemoration of the signing of the Treaties of Paris and Versailles, organized by the Sons of the American Revolution in France in liaison with the DAR in France; the President General of the NSDAR, Linda Calvin, and other NSDAR members visiting from the United States, as well as Rochambeau Chapter members in France, joined in this festive, week-long event;

-November 2011: the official, thee-day visit to France of the NSDAR President General, Merry Ann T. Wright and her delegation; the event was hosted by the Rochambeau Chapter, in liaison with State France, including: a meeting and reception in honor of the President General, with the participation of representatives from the US Embassy in France and other French/American associations; a dinner with State France; visit to the Picpus Cemetery, with wreathing-laying ceremony at the gravesite of General La Fayette, followed by a tour of Paris monuments celebrating the founding fathers of the American War of Independence.
In order to pay tribute to NSDAR presence in France for over a century, an official visit was also made to Tilloloy (Somme), where the mayor, Gérard Comyn, and members of the town council, and their families, gave a warm welcome to the delegation and organized a ceremony and reception; the President General laid a wreath to commemorate the war relief funds donated by the NSDAR, following WWI, to reconstruct the water system in Tilloloy. A wreath-laying ceremony, with the President General and the Mayor of Tilloloy, was also organized in the near-by American military cemetery, in Bony, resting place of the WWI military nurse and former DAR member, Helen Fairchild.

The chapter actively promotes the Royal Auvergne Society of the C.A.R. (Children of the American Revolution), and also sponsors its website.

In addition to an annual bi-lingual newsletter for its members, new communication tools are being developed to facilitate exchanges with the chapter’s members and associate members worldwide.  With respect to the bi-cultural heritage of the Rochambeau Chapter, written documents are often bi-lingual.

In France, the Rochambeau Chapter is an associate member of the American Chamber of Commerce in France (AmCham), as well as a member of the American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA).  Over the years, it has actively supported the National Museum of French-American Cooperation at Blérancourt (near Compiègne, France).

Cultural exchanges to promote French/American friendship, in France, are organized from time to time with the Sons of the American Revolution in France and the Cincinnati Society in France. The chapter also welcomes informal exchanges with other organizations in France,  such as the France-Amériques association and the Fulbright Foundation in France.

As a fully-affiliated member of the NSDAR, the Rochambeau Chapter  supports NSDAR programs in the United States, particularly in the areas of genealogy, history and education.

Other special contributions are sometimes offered in the case of excpetional events; for example, in solidarity with the victims of the 2005 hurricane disasters in Louisiana, the DAR and C.A.R. in France made gifts to purchase bilingual school books for primary schools in the New Orleans area.


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