Fort Wayne, Indiana

I was in Fort Wayne Indiana visiting my son and his family. I was looking for things to do by reading the local paper. Under the title “Historic Center” I saw the sentence “Merci train artifacts virtual exhibit.” I became very curious about this title so I looked it up online and discovered a very beautiful story.
In 1947 a Washington columnist Drew Pearson created a train that went to every state in the US to collect food gifts to be sent to Europe. He felt that the countries at war had not appreciated the US effort and he thought people were hungry and poor. The train carriages went on a ship to France to distribute the food. For example, one delivered 10,000 pounds of macaroons from Wyoming!!!
In France when the gifts arrived a certain Monsieur Picard working for the French railroad decided to thank the Americans by creating le Train de la Reconnaissance. The effort led to 49 boxcars, one for each state, including Washington and Hawaii together (which was not a state yet). One of the cars held artifacts, antiques like a Louis the XIV period doll which is in the Fort Wayne Historical society, but I could not have access to it. I was so happy but disappointed that I could not see any of the objects. But I was told there was a homage to the provinces of France near Fort Wayne at a site honoring the fighters of the 2 world wars. We drove there to see the memorial with the coat of arms of some of the provinces of France and the story behind it.
Friendship and linking people together are my driving force.

2013-12-27 Coat of arms on wall


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