Students honor French dissidents

By Tech. Sgt. Austin Knox | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | March 28, 2019

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —

Students from the French West Indies island of Martinique visited the joint base, March 25, 2019, to honor the French dissidents who trained at Fort Dix during WWII.

The dissidents were French Caribbean citizens who escaped their island’s pro-Nazi policies in the 1940s to fight alongside the United States.

“This was a forgotten yet important piece of mutual history, further linking the ties between France and the United States,” said U.S. Army Col. Charles W. Durr, Army Support Activity commander and JB MDL deputy commander. “It was an honor to host these students and we would gladly host them again next year.”

As part of the ceremony, the students laid a wreath of remembrance at the base of the Ultimate Weapon monument. The statue stands in honor of all the soldiers who have trained at Fort Dix.

“The visit was a way for our students to discover the path the dissidents followed and the place where they trained,” said the student’s instructor, Vanessa Crepinior. “The wreath laying ceremony allowed them to honor the memory of those that were courageous enough to defy authority. The visit will be a lifelong memory for them.”

Fort Dix was an important transit point for the French dissidents who decided to fight on the European front. The visit was based on a duty of remembrance.