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SACEUR attends 74th Annual Tanks in Mons


Mr. Elio Di Rupo,  mayor of Mons,  Supreme Allied Commander Europe,  General Curtis M. Scaparrotti,  and Mrs. Cindy Scaparrotti,  attend the 74th annual Tanks in Mons on Sunday,  Sept. 2. 2018 in Mons,  Belgium. The three-day event,  held in the Grand Place of Mons,  celebrates the liberation of the city in 1944 during World War Two. (NATO photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett Dodge,  USA)
MONS, Belgium – Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, attended the 74th annual Tanks in Mons celebration held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, 2018.
 
The three-day event culminating in the Grand Place of Mons commemorates the liberation of the city by the 83rd Reconnaissance Battalion of the 3rd U.S. Armored Division "Spearhead” and the 1st U.S. Infantry Division in 1944 during World War Two.
 
"Events like this celebrate our shared history and strengthen the bonds that were forged between our nations 74 years ago," said General Scaparrotti. "I appreciate the city leadership of Mons honouring the men who bravely fought here, ensuring their service and sacrifice do not go unnoticed."
 
The celebration kicked-off on Friday, Aug. 31 with a welcoming ceremony for all participants and then rolled into Saturday’s events with the International Military Flea Market, expositions of vehicles, tank rides and dinner. On Sunday, participants followed the original route of the 1944 liberation with wheeled, armoured and amphibious vehicles re-enacting the original approach to the Grand Place of Mons.
 
General Scaparrotti shared an excerpt from General Eisenhower’s memoirs a few years after WWII reflecting on the Mons victory. General Eisenhower wrote, "In ordinary times, this would have been acclaimed as a great victory. But the times were far from ordinary and the incident passed almost unnoticed in the press.”
 
General Eisenhower made it a point in his memoirs that the battle did not go unnoticed and that the service and sacrifice of the men of the U.S. 3rd Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions who fought was recognised and that the shared history with the people of Mons was documented.
 
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office


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