Society Honors Normandy Vets

Genealogists Remember Area Heroes At Event

Written By Pamela Berard, Staff Editor
Published By The Woonsocket Call, September 6, 1994

WOONSOCKET - There wasn't a dry eye in the room, as the American-French Genealogical Society honored local veterans of the Normandy Invasion, including 10 who died at Normandy.

A bulletin board displayed the young, smiling faces of the men who died in action, as relatives and other Normandy veterans paid tribute to the soldiers.

More than 120 attended the event, in which the AFGS honored 36 Normandy veterans, of which 23 are are still living. Deceased veterans were represented by family members.

The AFGS presented each veteran or family member with a booklet, including the tracing of the veteran's family line back to France. In tracing ancestral roots, it was discovered that 11 of the veterans traced a direct ancestor to Normandy, meaning the soldiers helped to liberate their own homeland 300 years after their ancestors arrived on Canadian shores.

Janice Burkhart, President of the American-French Genealogical Society, presented Normandy veteran Walter A. Boissel of Woonsocket with a framed certificate honoring his participation in the war effort 50 years ago.
"The people who came in were very interested in this," said Sylvia Bartholomy, of the AFGS. " I've never seen the library humming the way it was that night."

The evening was filmed and copies of the video may be borrowed from the library.

The veterans who were honored follow:: Jean Raposte Pierre Auclair, Wilfred E. Bacon, Camile A. Barnabe, Ralph Norman Belleville, Walter A Boissel, Eddie M. Blais, Henry Briere, Joseph Arthur Caron, Paul Cayer, Lawrence J. Choiniere, Laurice Aurel Desmarais, Arthur E. Desrosiers, Roland Desrosiers, Raymond Dusseault, Maurice J. Dusseault*, Joseph Fontaine, Maurice A Gauthier, Rene Alder Gauthier, Eugene J. Godin, Herve Eugene Godin*, Leo J. Godin*, Alphonse Gosselin, Gerard A. Langlois, Armand A. Lapierre, Bertrand Laverdiere, Rene J. Lavimodiere, Robert G. Levitre, Bertrand Normand Levitre, Theodore J. Marquis, Normand Paul, Raymond H. Peloquin, Wilfred Rene Proulx, Raymond Recore, George H. Roberts III, Edward Therrien, William J. Trudel Jr.

(Italics denotes died in Normandy, * denotes died after the war.)

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