Liberty Road (France)

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Liberty Road (French La voie de la Liberté) is the commemorative way marking the route of the Allied forces from D-Day in June 1944. It starts in Utah Beach, in the Manche département in Normandy, France, travels through Sainte-Marie-du-Mont across Northern France to Metz and then northwards to end in Bastogne, on the border of Luxembourg and Belgium. At each of the 1,146 kilometres, there is a stone marker or 'Borne'. The first lies on the landing beaches at Utah Beach.

History[edit]

Soon after the end of the Second World War, Mr Guy de la Vasselais, French liaison officer to George S. Patton, suggested the idea of erecting a monument to commemorate the Liberation of France by the American Armies: a monument that would symbolize the idea of Liberty. He proposed installation of a distinctive marker placed at each kilometre interval along the roads followed by General Patton’s Third United States Army.

Beginning at Utah Beach in Normandy and ending at Bastogne in Belgium, the Liberty Road goes through the cities of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Saint Malo, Rennes, Angers, Le Mans, Chartres, Fontainebleau, Reims, Verdun and Metz, and then through the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Altogether the Monument consists of 1146 Milestones. The design of these Milestones is symbolic: The Flaming Torch of Liberty, emerging from the sea, is carried eastward. Along the circumference of the Milestone’s dome-shaped top, the 48 stars representing the (then) 48 United States which took part in the Liberation of France.

The “Liberty Highway” was officially opened on September 17, 1947 at Fontainebleau, by Mr Paul Ramadier, then President du Conseil, in the presence of Mr Jefferson Caffery, United States Ambassador to France and members of the American Legion. Many military and civilian dignitaries of the Allied Nations were also present at the ceremonies.

President Ronald Reagan, accompanied by many heads of State, visited the first borne in 1984 to mark the 40th anniversary of D-Day.

Route[edit]

Borne number one, on the sands of Utah Beach.
Borne of the Liberty Road in Clervaux.

These are the towns, villages and notable places along the route:

Activities[edit]

A bicycle ride of the Voie de la Liberté has taken place every other year since 1986.

References[edit]

  • This article is based on a translation of an article from the French Wikipedia.
  • VOIE de la LIBERTÉ - Historic and Tourist Guide - Grandes Editions Françaises - Paris - 1947

External links[edit]