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Address of General Jean-Luc Brousse,
Chairman, Committee for the
"French Remembrance"
Cemetery, Me'ze France
Sept. 7 2002

On Tuesday, August 22nd, 1944, the bodies of four people, surrounded by the inhabitants of Me'ze, were buried in the Cemetery of Me'ze. Three of them were French people killed on the main road by retreating German soldiers: Henri BROUZET, Fernand REYNES, Seraphin PORTE.

The fourth person was a Lieutenant of the US Navy, a pilot, who was killed on Sunday August 20th. In the course of a strafing flight, his plane crashed near the village. His name is William Nathan Arbuckle. He was 27, born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He was married and lived in Hobart, Oklahoma.

On his grave, the mayor of Me'ze ordered the following words to be engraved:

Here lies William Nathan Arbuckle, an American Airman, killed in action in the city of Me'ze on August 20th 1944 for our liberation. We shall never forget him."

In the sky, American planes were flying around.

The body of Lieutenant of the US Navy Arbuckle will remain for two years in the ground of Me'ze. In 1946, it will join its comrades in the American Cemetery of Champiguail (Marne), and in 1948 in the American Cemetery of Epinol (Vorges) where it is resting henceforth.

Fifty eight years after, today, Saturday September 7th, 2002, thanks to the researches carried out tenaciously - and with conviction - by Marcel Ertel, we are gathered to evoke the memory of this young American Airman who gave up his life in order to free our country. We are gathered in fellowship with the American people, represented by a delegation that came, on purpose, from the United States.

Fifty-eight years later, today, on Saturday, September 7, 2002, in the cemetery of Hobart Oklahoma, flowers will be laid on the tombstone bearing the name of William Arbuckle. The members of his family will remember.

Today, in the American Cemetery of Epinol Dinoze' in "Les Voges" flowers will be laid on his grave.

The Herault section of the National Association of the members of the National Order of Merit and the committee for the "French Remembrance" united to ask the mayor of Me'ze for such a day of commemoration to be organized and the memory of this young man who came from so far to free us to be materialized.

His name is already engraved on our Memorial. After we have recalled that flight that came to an end, bluntly, on our land, it will be the name of a round-about in Me'ze presently.

Thus, in front of the new generation today, and for the future generations, we keep alive the memory of a young American Airman, who died so that France could live.

Thank you, Mr. Jean Douay, Castelnau-le-Lez, France for the English translation Of General Brousse's address……….Ethel Taylor

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