Unveiling of new collection of French books on WWI - Pritzker Military Museum and Library
Remarks by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion of the unveiling of a new collection of French books on WWI at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library - Chicago (IL)
(October 30, 2014)
I am very honored to be among you today, in the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.
A century after the outbreak of the World War 1 – the “Great War”, as we call it, France wishes to honor the American engagement.
This is one of our priorities. Until 2017, the French consulate in Chicago is organizing many events as part of the commemoration. It includes exhibitions, conferences, film screenings, and educational tools for scholarly audiences and universities.
Indeed, the United States of America played a major role in the Great War.
Its engagement started well before 1917. American volunteers were present in France as early as 1914. The US mobilized more than 4 million soldiers and a financial aid that would represent today 500 billion dollars. It helped secure the victory of the Allies.
The long-standing French-American friendship was strengthened even further through this conflict.
The relationship between the Pritzker Military Museum and Library’s and the Consulate general of France is another example of the long-standing friendship that unites our two countries.
I’m delighted to participate in this ceremony celebrating the acquisition by this museum of over one hundred French books about the First World War.
This exceptional collection brings together historical books and novels, as well as photo albums and children’s books. Your readers will be able to discover French authors’ concepts of the war and compare them with those of American authors. In this way, they can form a more comprehensive idea of the war’s global impact.
I would like to thank Kenneth Clarke, the director of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library for his enthusiasm for and his investment in this project. Thank you also to François-Xavier Schmidt, director of the new French book store, Albertine, in New York. He is the one who selected the works.
Your institution plays an exemplary role in both transmitting common values to new generations and allowing war veterans to rediscover the status that they deserve in American society.
The conference that follows this ceremony is important in that regard. Renowned philosopher Marc Crépon will talk on “Commemorating World War I: The Trial of Hate”. He will also exchange with Michaël Naas, professor of philosophy at DePaul University.
Their discussion will involve topics that are particularly appropriate as wars continue to break out around the world.