Le Pont de Fismette célèbre la mémoire des hommes de la 28e Division américaine venus libérer la ville en septembre 1918 puis en août 1945.  Fismette’s Memorial Bridge commemorates the sacrifices made by the soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division (“Keystone”) from Pennsylvania, who liberated Fismes during both WWI and WWII.

OTD: April 6, 1948 – April 6, 2018


04/06/1948: “Congratulations to the people of Meadville, Pa., who plan to celebrate Army day, April 6, by sending a carload of Friendship train food to the people of Fismes, 70 miles north of Paris.  Just 30 years ago national guard unit from Meadville liberated Fismes.”

Washington Columnist Drew PEARSON (1897-1969) , Father of the Friendship Train.

Seventy Years Ago today, as announced by legendary

columnist Drew Person in his daily Washington

Merry-Go-Round column, the City of

MEADVILLE, Pennsylvania, got aboard the

Friendship Train and donated food, money and

clothing to help war-torn France.


Thank YOU MEADVILLE and the Company B of the

112th Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division of

Pennsylvania for liberating

FISMES, France not once… but twice in September

1918 and in August 1945!

With many hearfelt THANKS for showing the rest of

the world how Pennsylvania, home of  the Liberty

Bell.  And that we, peaceful Americans, just like the

great Drew PEARSON, raised in Pennsylvania, are

eager to promote People-to-People Friendship, love

to build Bridges (and/or rebuild like in Fismes) and

Memorials, not walls…

Elisabeth Jenssen



Fismes après les opérations Amerika et Baden en août 1918





© The Official French-American Project entirely conceived by Ms. Elisabeth JENSSEN to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Friendship Train and the Merci Train (2017- 2019). All rights reserved.

Chair, Elisabeth Jenssen Co-Chair, Tyler Abell

Honorary President: The Comte Gilbert de Pusy La Fayette

Contact: elisabeth.jenssen@francaisdeletranger.org



FISMES Memorial 2018


MARK Your Calendar: Saturday, September 15, 2018


The year of 2018 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the liberation of Fismes during WWI. To mark this occasion the city is planning commemorative events on Saturday, September 15, 2018 to not only honor the anniversary of the city’s liberation, but also to christen the new memorials they plan to erect. This includes a promontory over the Vesle River that will allow visitors a good view of the Memorial Bridge (pictured here) as well as several plaques that will recount the history surrounding the Battle of Fismette.  Invitations have been extended to several local and state government leaders from Meadville, Crawford County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who will serve as the official delegation to Meadville’s Sister City and take part in the September 14, 2018 commemoration in Fismes, France.






La Ville de Fismes a été le théâtre  d’opérations militaires importantes, tout particulièrement d’août à septembre 1918, suite à l’engagement du contingent de l’armée des États-Unis sur le sol français.

La commune souhaite valoriser son histoire lors du  premier conflit mondial par l’élaboration et l’implantation d’un lieu de mémoire en bordure de la Vesle à proximité du pont mémorial construit avec l’aide de l’État de Pennsylvanie.

Ce projet a notamment pour objectif de marquer les liens qui unissent les Fismois et les Américains par leur passé commun pendant la grande guerre.

Ce lieu de mémoire sera non seulement un objet de connaissance scientifique, culturel, touristique au niveau international mais devrait également se révéler source d’émotion.

Ce projet a obtenu le label de la Mission du Centenaire 1914/1918.

Pour plus d’infos : http://www.fismes.fr/?fismes-memorial-18.html



Sister City Relationship

Pictured above and to the left is former Mayor Anthony Petruso holding a Meadville flag with the mayor of Fismes. http://www.cityofmeadville.org/vertical/Sites/{4d24daa5a359aa22e51c71c531e935ff229d31c7c5eb0da4885e362fa152ead6}7B256E8AF9-2CF3-4525-A3F2-7B08979EFAAB{4d24daa5a359aa22e51c71c531e935ff229d31c7c5eb0da4885e362fa152ead6}7D/uploads/DSCN0291.JPG


The Sister City relationship between Fismes and Meadville is built upon the sacrifices of the men of the 28th infantry division during this battle in WWI. The people of Fismes felt that they owed a debt of gratitude to the city of Meadville not only because of the men who fought valiantly to free the city of the Germans, but also due to the aid Pennsylvania and Meadville were able to contributed in the mid-1920s. This included $42,700 and three box cars of clothing and food sent to Fismes in order to assist their rebuilding after WWII. A portion of this money went to rebuilding the main bridge of Fismes which crosses over the Vesle (pictured bottom top). This bridge as well as a portion of Diamond Park in Meadville serves as a physical symbol of the bond that France and Meadville share. This relationship is what is being celebrated in September of 2018. Fismes plans to erect several new memorials honoring the battles over Fismes as well as invite a Meadville official delegation to Fismes to help celebrate the occasion. Pictured below is Meadvilles memorial stone that is located in Diamond Park.

Fismes, France

Fismes (pronounced “Feem”) is a small village 68 miles NE of Paris with a population of 5,418.  Fismes and the City of Meadville have developed a Sister-City relationship originating from WWI and the actions taken by soldiers from the Meadville and Crawford County area.




Related posts:

100 years later, the ‘Great War’ fades into obscurity


Tragedy at Fismette, France, 1918










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