Love of country and reverence for our nation’s heroes are staples of the Boy Scouts of America.
So it should come as no surprise that BSA Scouts and Scouters are the ones leading efforts to preserve the beaches at Normandy, where allied forces made landfall on D-Day. You’re a vital part of this effort, and you can help without traveling 3,600 miles to France. All you need is your laptop and 60 seconds.
The Transatlantic Council, a traditional Scouting council serving Americans living in Europe, is presenting UNESCO with a petition to request World Heritage Site status to the D-Day beaches. Time is of the essence as commercial developers plan to change the landscape around the D-Day beaches with massive wind farms.
Take a minute to sign the petition right now and do your part.
Transatlantic Council members appreciate your support. In the photo above, you’re looking at 3,000 BSA Scouts, family members and World War II veterans gathered on Omaha Beach to launch their efforts to obtain UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
They’ll gather again at the annual Normandy Camporee on April 25-27 to officially present the petition with your signature and, I hope, thousands of others.
The timing makes sense as we approach the 70th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, Normandy landings. And with your help, we can ensure future Scouts and Scouters can visit the Utah, Omaha, Juno, Gold and Sword beaches for the 170th anniversary.
More info from the Transatlantic Council:
An Initiative of the Transatlantic Council, Boy Scouts of America
In 2011 Transatlantic Council, Boy Scouts of America undertook the challenge of leading the campaign for the nomination of the D-Day Landing Beaches to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our goal is to gather signatures to present an overwhelming testimony to the desire of people throughout the world to preserve these beaches for future generations. The culmination and presentation will take place on April 26th, 2014 at the opening ceremonies of the 70th Anniversary commemoration of D-Day.
Why Protect the Beaches?
June 6th, 1944 certainly has historical significance as the largest military operation of its type ever conducted. The beginning of the Battle of Normandy and subsequent events led to the liberation of Western Europe and the defeat of Nazism. The historical value of the five landing beaches is beyond question. Although there are no immediate plans to develop the beaches, the UNESCO designation provides a guarantee that future generations can visit Utah, Omaha, Juno, Gold, and Sword and walk in the steps of history.
We remember the sacrifices and the brave actions of young men who fought the battle, but the D-Day Landing beaches are also a place of reconciliation, where we can see as a people how our common values were also won. There are few sites in Europe where one can honor both the sacrifice and celebrate the peace that was achieved.
Why the Transatlantic Council, Boy Scouts of America
Our ties to Normandy began in 1992 with the launch of the Normandy Historical Trail to encourage Scouts and their families to travel to Normandy and hike to the main sites and monuments in the American sector. In 1994, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings we brought 1800 Scouts and families to Omaha Beach to participate in ceremonies marking D-Day. Since that time, over 25,000 youth, leaders, and family members have participated in scouting events in Normandy.
We now have the largest continuous youth commemoration program in the Lower Normandy area. Our events are well organized, receive local and national support, and involve youth all over Europe.
As a result of our past success, we are organizing the French national youth program for Normandy involving Scouts and youth from throughout Europe. Over 6,000 youth are expected to participate in the Omaha Beach camporee. With this success, Transatlantic Council is designated as a “Custodian of the Memory of Omaha Beach” by the French Ministry of Defense.
We are the leaders in honoring the memory now that the spouses and family members of those who fell come less frequently to Normandy. We have chosen to work towards the designation for all five landing beaches as we came as allies and every beach holds a special place to those countries who serve as allies.