MEMORIAL DAY MISSION 2023
Operation Benjamin and the American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC)
will correct historical errors at the
Normandy American Cemetery, France, and
Brittany American Cemetery, France.
Join us in celebration of Shavuot in historic Rouen, France
featuring Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter
along with the ABMC commemorations of Memorial Day
May 24th-30th, 2023
$4,150 per person (airfare not included)
Scroll down for more information
THE THREE SOLDIERS WE WILL BE HONORING
ABOUT THE MISSION
Wednesday, May 24
Participants will arrive in Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. We will meet at the Sheraton Hotel (in the airport) Meeting Room. Refreshments will be available as we wait for all our participants to assemble. In the early afternoon, we will head to our coach bus for the 2-hour bus ride to the historic Hotel de Bourgtheroulde in Rouen. Wednesday evening will feature an in-depth orientation and dinner, with a chance for participants to meet one another. Extra desert for anyone who can properly pronounce the name of the hotel at that point.
Thursday, May 25
Today will be dedicated to a mid-morning and early-afternoon appreciation for the beauty and cultural heritage of the Normandie region. Included will be a trip to the spectacularly picturesque city of Honfleur, an historic port town. We will visit the Museum Eugene Boudin, showcasing an impressive collection of 19th century art, including works by Boudin himself. In the afternoon, we begin preparations for Shavuot, with sandwiches available back at our hotel in Rouen. The full Yom Tov schedule begins that evening and will be sent in detail well before the Mission.
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Shavuot First Day and Shavuot Second Day/Shabbat
All tefillah services and meals will take place at the Association Cultuelle Israelite de Rouen shul, which is a 4-minute walk from our hotel through the beautiful medieval streets of Rouen. There will be multiple lectures, shiurim and divrei Torah, featuring Rabbi Dr. JJ Schacter and members of our Mission. Delicious meals will be prepared and served by a fine caterer brought in from Paris. On Friday afternoon, there will be a guided 2-hour walking tour of medieval Rouen.
Sunday, May 28
Today we transition from the aesthetic beauty of the French countryside and the holiness of Shabbat and Yom Tov to the realities of war, fought in all its ferocity here in this region. We will depart the hotel in the morning to the Normandy American Cemetery to take part in the official ABMC Memorial Day Ceremony. We will then proceed to Le Memorial de Caen, one of the very fine military museums featuring the Normandy invasion, where we will be led on a guided 2.5-hour tour (with 20 minutes in the gift shop!). From there, we will board our coach, with a military historian from the Museum, to tour the sites of the actual Allied D-Day invasion at Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach. We will complete our day back in Rouen with a late dinner and final orientation before the Memorial Day ceremonies.
Monday, May 29
We will leave our hotel early this morning to arrive at the Normandy American Cemetery, the very purpose of our travel. The first ceremony will be the Operation Benjamin Headstone Replacement for 1LT Lawrence Craig, for which three members of his family will be in attendance. We expect Ambassadors and various military VIP’s to also be in attendance, along with ABMC Acting COO and Director of Cemetery Operations, Edward Ryan. We will then proceed 2 hours to the Brittany American Cemetery for the Operation Benjamin Headstone Replacement Ceremonies for PVT Simon Goodman and 2LT Robert Meltzer. Family members will be in attendance here, as well. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, we will board the coach for our 3.5-hour return to Paris and a concluding gala dinner at the Kavod Restaurant. Afterwards, we will bid everyone farewell as we drop you off at your hotel.
Tuesday, May 30
Return home. Bon Voyage!
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All of your flight arrangements can be made with our travel professional, Liora Cohen, who will contact you following your registration.
Contact Liora with any questions at:
TSGT Charles Solomon,
one of two brothers KIA in WWII.
We replaced their headstones at Normandy and the Ardennes in April 2019