FACC Gala commemorated Michigan D-Day heroes and celebrated defense ties between Michigan and France with Senator Carl Levin and other dignitaries
Above photos courtesy Bryan Mitchell
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FACC-Michigan hosted its 2014 Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 23 at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) in Detroit. This year, we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings and honored the special ties that bring France and the United States together in the defense industry, where France spends approximately $60 billion annually.
With 200 attendees, the evening of celebration and reflection was led by guests of honor and speakers Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services; Mr. Frederic Lefebvre, Member of the National Assembly of France, representing the First Constituency for French North American residents overseas, and Member of the Committee on National Defense and Armed Forces; and Brigadier General Bruno Caitucoli, Defense Attaché at the Embassy of France. We were also pleased to have Mr. Robert Scheible, a D-Day combat veteran from Michigan, join us as well as have a restored 1942 Cadillac staff car, courtesy of Mr. Ed Pashukewich, parked at the DAC entrance for our guests to enjoy.
All proceeds from the evening were donated to the ’Michigan Remembers’ project, which aims to send 180 American students from the Lakeshore (Berrien County) High School marching band to participate in the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2014 in France. The students will honor the 419 Fallen by pouring sand from Michigan on their grave site, march in the parade in Ste-Mere-Eglise, perform on Omaha Beach by the Normandy American Cemetery for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and finally perform in Paris in the Jardin du Luxembourg for members of the French Senate. In addition, ‘Michigan Remembers’, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Education, will distribute teaching packets to all Michigan high schools to ensure that students never forget the sacrifices made on D-Day.
In addition to commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and celebrating Michigan’s defense industry and its contribution to the economy – past and present – the goal of this year’s Gala was to help ensure that the people of Michigan never forget the sacrifices made by the 419 soldiers from Michigan, 362 who are physically buried in Normandy and 57 of whom are missing in action or buried at sea.
Above photos courtesy Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus