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Project Statement: My Father’s Story

This project is about my father’s story. In 1940, when he was 15 years old, he escaped German-occupied France to join General de Gaulle’s Free French forces.

Like many of the men of the Greatest Generation, my father spoke sparingly about the details of his war experience. I have put together the photographs and memorabilia that remain. I have had to piece together the narrative, based on family stories, and all too limited historical documentation. What my father conveyed to me was not in the details, but rather in his love and devotion to his country, and his admiration for General de Gaulle and the other members of the Resistance. Like him, they would accept no less than a defiant, liberated and resurgent France.

As I reflect on my father’s experience, I am reminded of what true patriotism and love for one’s country looks like. Now, in my adopted country of the U.S., we face existential threats to our democratic ideals. I pray that we have the resolve to safeguard the values we hold dear.

A Young Frenchman Vows to Fight for the Motherland

A Young Frenchman Vows to Fight for the Motherland

De Gaulle's Call to Arms

De Gaulle's Call to Arms

The Family, Left Behind under German Occupation, Resists

The Family, Left Behind under German Occupation, Resists

A Young Sailor Fights for France

A Young Sailor Fights for France

"Minerve" submarine patrolling the North Sea

"Minerve" submarine patrolling the North Sea

Chasing German U-Boats in the North Sea

Chasing German U-Boats in the North Sea

Wounded at the Bombardment of Cowes, Isle of Wight

Wounded at the Bombardment of Cowes, Isle of Wight

The Free French in Africa

The Free French in Africa

A Young Life Interrupted

A Young Life Interrupted

Victory -- a Republic Restored

Victory -- a Republic Restored

Categories & Keywords
Category:Artistic
Subcategory:Digital Compositions
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:De Gaulle, DeGaulle, Etcheverry, FFL, FNFL, France, France Libre, FranceLibre, Free, Free French, Lorraine, Occupation, Resistance, WW2, collage, digital, digital collage, forces france libre, forces navales francaises libres, historical, history, l'occupation, montage, photo essay, photoessay, photography, war