Delegation from France to visit Wilson Library

A delegation from France will visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum on Friday, September 16, to discuss ways to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The delegation includes Serge Barcellini, Controller General of the French Military Forces, and Frederic Castier, former Liaison Officer between the US Army Europe and French authorities.

WWPLM trustees and staff met the French delegation during a members’ tour of France’s World War I battlefields in October 2010. Wanting a Franco-American collaboration for the war’s centennial, Barcellini and Castier agreed to assist with a session at the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History in Richmond, September 14. The session, Challenges Faces Collaborative Commemorations, will be moderated by Don Wilson, President and CEO of the WWPLM and will explore possible approaches to the centennial of World War I.

Wilson says, “World War I was transformational for both Wilson’s presidency and America’s global role. Through a collaborative commemoration, both nations can gain a better understanding of the war and its impact on modern society.”

Honoring American participation in World War I is of great interest to Castier, who frequently serves as a guide for the American battlefields of World War I such as Catigny and Meuse-Argonne. Castier is a consultant for Encore Interpretive Design of Tennessee and Projects Coordinator for the Meuse General Council. He is also president of an historical association dedicated friendship between France and the United States and commemorating America’s role in both world wars.

In addition to his long career in the French Administration, Barcellini is a lecturer at the prestigious University of Sciences-Po in Paris. He is a recipient of the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor and  the author of a book and numerous articles on the politics of memory.

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