517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team

Biennial 517th PRCT Reunion

August 15-19, 2005
Savannah, GA

The following message is from our Belgium friends , Irma and Arnold Targnion:

From Patricia and Roland Orengo, our friends from Sospel, France:

Dear Friends,

We would like to thanks all of you for your welcome in Savannah.  It was our first reunion with the 517e but not the last.  Helen and Hal have done a tremendous job for … the “cream”, their family and friends.

We are very proud to know you, to share your souvenirs.  Our mind will keep for ever, your kindness, your disponibility, your happiness, your love of life : a great lesson for the future generation.  It was, also moving to see children grand children, cousins, nephews attend to the reunion.  We have to keep alive your sacrifice in the memories. It is our legacy.

We are still French, we speak still French because one day you have jumped in France, a small country, on the other side of Ocean Atlantic, almost unknown  by you, only, to save us.   

Thanks so much.

And don’t forget : The French love Americans as you love us.

Vive l’Amerique, Vive la France.

NB : For those of you who they did not understand our awful accent, we send you included, our speech (Banquet – Savannah 08/19/2005. 

Patricia and Roland ORENGO

Banquet - Savannah, August 19, 2005

Dear Friends of the 517e,
To begin with, let me tell you where I have come from, so that I can be in front of you today.

My husband Roland and I come from a village in the south east of France, which is called Sospel.
A good number of you know our village which is at the southern end of the Maginot line, between France and Italy with numerous strategic fortresses and gun emplacements.

We are the humble representatives of our village’s mayor and the population of Sospel who present to the 517e this plate in homage for your action in the World War II.
We will be eternally grateful to you for liberating France from the enemy’s yoke and the Nazi suppression. We thank you for sacrificing years of your life so that our lives can be free.

We are with you today, thanks to the invitation of Nolan Powell and his family, which are most generously allowing us to stay with them during our time in the USA.
We met Nolan, in Sospel, a few years ago and we persuaded him to make a tour of the village in our Jeep.
This led to an exchange of correspondence with letters and photographs, which cemented our friendship.

In honour of this friendship, we present Nolan with the medal of Sospel.

We thank you for your reception but we are especially grateful for the efforts you have made to give us freedom.

We recently celebrated, like many villages and towns of France, the 60th anniversary of our liberation which took place on October 28.

One of you was in Sospel on that date. It was Marvin Moles, who had the good idea to mislay his helmet in a corner of France which then enabled a young guy to find him !
He is among us today and I greet him and thank his family who wrote beautiful things about us on the 517e’s website. Thanks to Marvin, Diane and Mark.
We will be happy, in the future, to be your guide to those of you among us who wish to visit our beautiful village.
Do not hesitate to tell us when you will come.

Thank you.