Up & Coming Weekly

March 01, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1456275

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 2 - 8, 2022 UCW 13 A bond that began to form in the early 1980s and solidified in the early 1990s is finding life again nearly four decades after making the first con- nections. e Lafayette Society has handed the reins of Fayetteville's International Sister City over to a new organization, the Fayetteville Saint Avoid Friendship Alliance (FSAFA). Saint Avoid is situated in the Lor- raine region of northeast France and is just seventeen miles from the border of Germany. e town is just south of the largest World War II cemetery, the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial. is location is considered American soil, and the American Battle Monuments Commis- sion (ABMC) oversees its operations. ABMC, created by executive order in 1923, is an agency of the federal government's executive branch. On this land, an ocean and many miles away, a son of Fayetteville is buried, a man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, Pfc. William M. Shaw, Jr. Shaw was killed in action overseas on September 12, 1944. His sister Gillie Revelle, who is nearing 90 years old, is still in Fayetteville, explained FSAFA President Kris Johnson. Johnson sits at a large wooden desk in Town Historian Bruce Daws' office at the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum. On the desk in front of her is a vintage diplomat-style briefcase circa possibly the early 1990s full of display board photos from Saint Avold events and displays in the past. is briefcase symbolizes the passing of the baton for the Sister City Program to FSAFA. Former Lafayette Society President Hank Parfitt passed these items on to Johnson when she stepped up to reinvigorate the connection between Fayetteville and Saint Avold. Johnson has quite a tale about the long-standing relationship between the two cities. e program began with the late Martha Duell, former Lafayette Society president and described by Johnson as "a true ambassador" for Fayetteville. Duell caught wind of a repair needed for a statue of the Marquis de Lafay- ette in Lorraine in 1981 and offered support. is act of support on Duell's part sowed the seeds of connection. When a delegation of bicyclists from the Lorraine region began to plan a trip to cycle from Washington D.C. to Fayetteville in 1986, it was recom- mended they reach out to Duell. In addition to the cycle trip, the group contacted the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial for help iden- tifying a North Carolina soldier buried there, one they might be able to honor during their trip. e cemetery super- intendent gave them Shaw's name. With approval from the cemetery, they collected soil from Shaw's grave. e bicyclists mixed this soil with sand from Omaha Beach in Normandy. When they arrived in Fayetteville, with Shaw's family in attendance, they spread the soil and sand at the marker in Cross Creek Cemetery that honors Fayetteville's "sons who never re- turned home from the war," explained Johnson. is act of kindness and connec- tion was Duell's inspiration to connect Fayetteville and Saint Avold. On Sep- tember 27, 1993, former Fayetteville Mayor J.L. Dawkins and the City Council signed a resolution uniting the two International Sister Cities. In 1994, Saint Avold renamed the street in front of the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Avenue de Fayetteville. Over the years, groups of people from both cities have visited in delegations to maintain the relationship and up- hold cultural exchange. Students in Cumberland County Schools have participated in pen pal programs with Saint Avold. And in 1997, signs were posted along Inter- state-95 declaring the cities' sister- hood. Johnson feels the time has come to reconnect and reinvigorate the program. e first event for the newly founded group was a trip to see an Alphonse Mucha exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, followed by a lunch at French restaurant La Co- quette. FSAFA is not stopping there. It has many more events in the planning stages for the upcoming year. e group, which is a nonprofit working to gain their 501(c) designa- tion, uses funds for two functions, education and administration. Sales from a published book of Shaw's letters home during WWII, "Letter's to Home, a Soldier's Story," helps support FSAFA's educational pursuits. Proceeds from an upcoming yard sale will support their administration costs. is yard sale has been dubbed the first annual Great French-American Yard Sale and is scheduled for March 12. It will be held at 121 Devane St. from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. e yard sale will have a variety of furniture, house- wares, kitchen and cookware, home décor and much more. In addition to the Great French- American Yard Sale, plans are in the works for a French cheese and wine tasting event and a possible French cookery and baking class at Fayetteville Technical Community Col- lege. FSAFA membership for this first year is free, and dues will be a nominal fee moving forward. Memberships will include discount- ed group rates for events and outings. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to the group by emailing faync_saintavold@yahoo.com or like the Facebook page, Fayetteville – Saint Avold Friendship Alliance. International Sister Cities: A relationship rekindled by EMILY SUSSMAN COVER STORY Above: Martha Duell poses with Mayor Francoise Harter during a ceremony naming a road in front of the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Saint Avold, 1994. e road was named Avenue de Fayetteville. Harter was Mayor of Saint Avold for 24 years and passed away on Feb. 20 at the age of 91. (Photo courtesy of Kris Johnson, Fayetteville Saint Avoid Friendship Alliance.) Left: e grave of Pfc. William M. Shaw, Jr. at Lorraine American Cemetery and Me- morial, Saint Avold. (Photo courtesy of Kris Johnson, Fayetteville Saint Avoid Friend- ship Alliance.) Right: A vintage diplomat-style briefcase circa possibly the early 1990s full of display board photos from Saint Avold events and displays in the past sits on Bruce Daws desk at the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum. (Photo by Emily Sussman.) EMILY SUSSMAN, Editor. COMMENTS? editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - March 01, 2022