Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Photo: French Gratitude Train

Here is a photo of the other side of the WWII French Merci Train.

You can see the French shields that were on the train. There were over 40 shields representing all of the French provinces in 1949.

Why did France send the Merci Train? The French wanted to thank America for sending 250 railroad cars full of fuel, oil, and food in 1948 during a time that the European countries were devastated by World War II.

This train has a long lasting impact in Arizona and a great home at Scottsdale's McCormick Stillman Railroad Park. A special display has been built to protect the railroad car, with a fence around it and a roof over it to protect it from the sun and rain. I wonder what has happened to the other 49 trains cars.

Check out beautiful photos of San Xavier Del Bac or the White Dove of the Desert at Viva la Voyage!

11 comments:

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

This is wonderful that the American generosity to France and the French gratitude to America from more than 60 years ago is still preserved.

I wonder if there are memorials in France to American gratitude to French assistance in the U.S. revolutionary war, without which the USA would not have become independent from Britain.

This Merci train shows that Americans should cherish our long friendship with the people of France and recognize their generosity and good manners, rather than accepting stereotypes.

brattcat said...

I've done a little research on this after seeing yesterday's post. Many of the 48 boxcars are still in residence in the recipient states, though for most the contents have long been dispersed. It looks as if some, like yours in Arizona, are receiving attention after years of neglect.

Halcyon said...

This is really lovely. I had never heard of this train. If I'm ever in the area, I'll definitely stop by to take a look!

SRQ said...

Very interesting. I hadn't heard of the Merci Trains either.

Clueless in Boston said...

I agree with Dave that we shouldn't accept the stereotypes of the french as there is a long and enduring friendship and trust between our two countries. Vive la france, vive le francais!

Sharon said...

I'm going to have to go over there and see this.

Thérèse said...

Friendship is always a good thing and should be cherished forever.

Rob and Mandy said...

So I suppose the french part of my family, mum, grand parents, and so on, benefited from it. Thanks.

Virginia said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing with me.
V

glenda said...

Very interesting story! I had no idea.

Jack said...

I haven't heard of merci trains before. It was a kind gesture. If I remember tomorrow I will try to figure out what happened to the one for Connecticut.

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