Painting for Peace
Ste Mere Eglise

The citizens of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, particularly Madame Simone Renaud, wife of the Mayor, repaid the postwar generosity to her heros by tending to the graves of the young American Soldiers (www.motherofnormandy.com). Mde. Renaud wrote letters to American family’s members, hosting them, visiting them, comforting them in their loss, and passing this legacy to her sons for the rest of her life. 

The movie, Mother of Normandy is the story of one remarkable woman, who devotion to a generation of heroes transcended all boundaries. Mde. Simone Renaud witnessed the liberation of France on 6.6.44, from home in Saint Mere Eglise. It was here, that she along with her three sons and husband watched the triumph and tragedy unfold during a day that defined history. She spent a lifetime tending to the graves of those American Soldiers (her heroes) who lost their lives there and corresponding with their loved ones they left behind. The mark she left is indelible and her story is too. During the film, you will also witness the documentation of the origins of Operation Democracy and how it all started in the hearts in the village of Locust Valley. Witness the impact of what a community did to make a difference to another community across the ocean.

 Please take a moment to read the beautiful poem, written in 1948 by Mde. Simone Renaud to the people of Locust Valley, it gives heartfelt thanks from a community across the ocean, remembering not only her heroes- the soldiers who gave their lives for their freedom (WWII) but also to the community of Locust Valley, who helped make a difference by giving them hope to rebuild the future. This was the start of the bond between Locust Valley and Ste. Mere Eglise and the spark that generated Operation Democracy nationally.

To learn more about Madame Renaud, and the documentary about her life visit www.motherofnormandy.com.

above: invitation to the viewing of the documentary, "Mother of Normandy" The story of Madame Simone Renaud.

above: Madame Renaud speaks with General Eisenhower.

above: Marker at Madame Simone Renauld's grave
above: Madame Renaud's sons (L-R): Maurice, Henri Jean, Paul