NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2017) – On July 1, the French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French Consulate in New York will present a series of programs and presentations tied to its year-long initiative, “How 1917 Changed the World: A Centennial Commemoration of the United States Entrance Into World War One” a major cultural and educational program highlighting the 100th anniversary of this critical year of change.
Launched in late March, this initiative will further expand its offerings with a day-long celebration of events, exhibitions and experiences at locations throughout New York City on July 1st.
“From music to military maneuvers, 1917 was a time of extraordinary cultural exchange and political support on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of France to the United States Bénédicte de Montlaur. “These July 1 events—and our overall How 1917 Changed the World—bring to life the breadth of America’s pivotal role in changing the course of history. In addition to the incredible docket of jazz music and the impressive photography exhibition, we’re particularly pleased to be able to present the Legion of Honor awarding ceremony.” “These events further underscore the ongoing commitment and strong relationship between France and the U.S. for over 200 years.”
“This year, we commemorate a time of unwavering Franco-American friendship, when the star-spangled banner and tricolor flew side by side on the battlefield, when the hearts of French and American soldiers beat in unison, when France and the U.S. joined hands to become brothers in arms,” said New York Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre
“2017 marks a new stage in remembering World War One 100 years later“ said Joseph Zimet, Director General of the French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale. “A century after the first American servicemen arrived on French soil, France is proud to honor the American memory of World War One by rediscovering an amazingly rich historical heritage. Merci l’Amérique, Thank you America !”
The full day of celebrations—all free and open to the public-— on July 1 include:
- Arrival of the Queen Mary 2 at Verrazano Bridge, an ambitious program aimed at revisiting one hundred years of American influence on sports and culture. On the 100th anniversaryof the American allies landing in St. Nazaire, France, The Bridge 2017 will celebrate a century of exchanges and cultural legacies between both countries. The Bridge 2017 features a race from Saint-Nazaire to New York between two exceptional classes of ships: the Queen Mary 2 versus the fastest and most powerful trimarans within the ocean racing world. Witness the spectacular finish of the race on the morning of July 1 with a spectacular photo opportunity as the ships arrive in New York City.
- Time: around 7AM.
- Opening of Merci ! 1917-2017, Remember, a photography exhibition curated by French journalist and news anchor Jean-Claude Narcy. Featuring 50 photos illustrating the commitment of the U.S. to WWI efforts, this day-long exhibition offers a sneak peek of the extended show which will open in the Fall with an important moment on November 11, 2017. Jean-Claude Narcy will also conduct a guided tour in English and French at 3 PM on that day. Time: 11 AM (exhibition opens); tour: 3PM to 3:30 PM.
- Legion of Honor awarding Ceremony: Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte and known as France’s highest distinction, the Legion of Honor is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements on behalf of France or its ideals. Typically held in private places, this rare public ceremony will feature the presentation of the Presidential award, by General Puga, Grand Chancellor of the Order, to approximately 20 WWII veterans at Central Park’s Bandshell.
Time: 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM.
A Free SummerStage Evening, an homage to 100 years of American music and the celebration of the arrival of Jazz on Europeanshores in 1917. Co-produced by The Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with New York Hot Jazz Festival, the lineup includes Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks with Catherine Russell; Avalon Jazz Band; and Aurora.
- Time: 5-10 PM at the Rumsey Playground.
For a complete list of events and details of the yearlong celebration, please visit http://frenchculture.org.
Presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and The French Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, which is in charge of the World War One Centenary in France, and endorsed by commemorative partner The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, which recognizes commitment to educating the public about World War One and honoring those who served.
About The Presenters
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language and higher education across the U.S. Based in New York, Washington, DC and eight other cities, the Culture Services brings artists, authors intellectuals and innovators nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions, and universities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Consulate of France in New York, one of ten French Consulates General in major American cities. Consular officials are responsible for protecting the interests of French nationals abroad, be they permanent residents or temporary visitors.
The Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale (French World War One Centennial Mission) was established by the French Government in 2012 in order to prepare and implement the commemorative program of the First World War centenary. The Mission du Centenaire coordinates public and private stakeholders involved in commemorating the First World War.Together with United States World War One Centennial Commission, the Mission du Centenaire organizes or supports a number of events this year to honor those Americans who served during the First World War.
Moët Hennessy, the wines and spirits division of LVMH, the world’s leading luxury products group, is proud to serve as a patron of the Commission du Centenaire 1914-18. Moët Hennessy will participate in commemorations on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the year. Through its support, Moët Hennessy demonstrates its patriotism and commitment to both nations, its origins in France and roots in the United States dating back to 1794.